One third of U.S. children are overweight or obese, according to a new report titled F as in Fat 2011. The childhood pudge percentage has nearly tripled in the past 10 years.
Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia had childhood obesity rates above 20 percent; Illinois was the only non-Southern state above 20 percent (along with the District of Columbia). In 2003, when the last NSCH was conducted, only D.C., Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia were above 20 percent.
Nationwide, the report found that less than one-third of all children ages 6-17 engaged in at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity on a day-to-day basis.
Very obese children should be placed with foster families till they slim down, argue Harvard researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Bad idea, responds bioethicist Art Caplan. After all, 12 percent of U.S. kids are extremely obese.
“Ludicrous,” responds Megan McArdle in The Atlantic.
. . . the foster system is already overstretched without adding obesity to catalogue of child abuse and neglect. It’s also kind of creepy–the sort of thing that gives paternalism a very, very bad name.
Racist, adds Instapundit. African-American children are more likely to be obese.
Adults are getting fatter too.
And it’s not just Americans. As part of a British campaign against obesity, new health guidlines call for children under the age of five — including infants — to exercise daily for at least three hours.