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Obesity in America is increasing at unprecedented levels. Spurred by sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, approximately two-thirds of American adults are overweight and 15 percent of 6- to 19-year-olds are overweight – a number that has tripled during the past two decades.
Childhood obesity now is so prevalent in the United States that it is being considered an epidemic. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of children who are overweight has doubled in the last two to three decades. Currently, one child in five is overweight.
In the U.S., about 15.5 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 and 15.3 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are obese. The increase in obesity among American youth over the past two decades is dramatic:
Some of the causes of obesity include:
Today's youth are considered the most inactive generation in history, caused in part by:
Americans spend more than $33 billion a year on weight-loss products and services. However, the economic cost of obesity in the United States was about $117 billion in 2000.
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