SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A new report out Wednesday reveals some alarming numbers about childhood obesity.
Health professionals say the data reveals a national crisis.
According to data from the national survey of children’s health, the obesity rate for youth ages 10-17 in 2016 and 2017 was 15.8%, that’s about one in six.
Kelsey Chown, a Physicians assistant in family practice at Cox Branson say it’s not just genetics and says. “And if you include both overweight and obese children..that counts for more than a third of the children in the United States.”
Chown also says, “So, we know that genetics do play a part, but also the environment is a huge part as well. So, children are much more likely to be obese, when one or both of the parents are obese. But again, not all of it is just your genes..it’s how do Mom and Dad eat and act and exercise and all of those things as well.”
Chown says once kids hit the teenage range more than 40% are overweight and obese, putting them at risk of getting diabetes, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea.
When it comes to childhood obesity it’s not just about the child’s physical health but their emotional health as well.
Chown says besides making healthier eating choices and exercising with their kids, parents should also get involved in school.
In the U.S, the percentage of children and teens affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s.