Childhood Obesity in the United States
The map, issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), shows the percentages of substantially overweight, or obese, low-income children by county and in territories and tribal organizations where Native Americans live. The problem extends to both urban and rural populations.
Overall, 1 in 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese. Experts have been alarmed by the rapid rise in childhood obesity during the past 20 years, which is attributed to changes in diet toward more processed foods, less physical activity, and low-income families' lack of access to highly nutritious food. The impact of obesity on life expectancy, increased incidence of diabetes, heart disease and other ailments is reason for its recent prevalence as a public health issue.
Public attention to decreasing childhood obesity includes efforts to enhance the nutritional balance in school lunches, nutritional education for children and adults, pressuring food corporations to improve labeling and ingredients, and campaigns to increase children's physical activity by reducing time in front of television and computers and restoring daily physical education classes or recess.
"Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Childhood: Data: Low-Income, Preschool-Aged Children" | DNPAO | Center for Disease Control, n.d., http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/lowincome.html (accessed June 1, 2010). Annotated by Susan Douglass.