Childhood Obesity

August 6, 2013
Sierra Star

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States, which is triple the amount of children from just one generation ago. The CDC does say that while rates have been increasing steadily, as of December 2012, obesity has fallen for the first time in quite a while. Obesity numbers are not very encouraging in Canada, either.

Using World Health Organization standards of measurements, 31.5% of 5- to 17-year-old children in Canada are classified as overweight or obese. Body mass index, or BMI, is a ratio used to determine whether a child is overweight or obese. It is calculated using a child's weight and height. While BMI is not a direct measure of body fat, it is a reliable indicator of rates of overweight in most children and teens. Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile on the chart. Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile.

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