The percentage of children in the United States who are overweight or obese has doubled during the past three decades, and the incidence of childhood obesity has tripled, a report concludes.
The report—published in the spring 2006 issue of The Future of Children, a publication of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University—says that since the 1970s, the percentage of overweight or obese children grew from 15 percent to almost 30 percent. Over the same period, the incidence of childhood obesity increased from 5 percent to 15 percent.
To address the problem, the report recommends programs that involve both children and parents, efforts to improve nutrition and physical-activity standards in schools, limits on children’s exposure to advertising, and an improvement in preventive care and treatment for obesity and related diseases.
A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week