Fighting Childhood Obesity
If you think obesity isn’t a dire problem in America, think again. The statistics below prove just how critical this epidemic has become.
- The annual healthcare costs of obesity in this country are $147 billion a year. This could rise to as much as $344 billion by 2018, according to one major study.
- Obesity has become one of the most expensive health problems in America today, surpassing smoking, according to a study in Health Affairs.
- Two-thirds of Americans are overweight, although 85% of Americans characterize their lifestyle as somewhat/very healthy.
- Obese employee sick days total approximately 39 million workdays and 63 million doctor visits yearly.
- 12 million Americans are considered severely obese, defined as more than 100 pounds overweight.
- Diet pills, books, and services constitute the nearly $60 billion weight loss industry.
- The Biggest Loser consumer products program has generated over $100 million in spending so far.
- As the enormous costs in obesity related medical claims skyrocket and productivity is dropping, employers are seeing the need to keep their workforce fit. Recent studies have shown an impressive return on investment for every dollar spent on prevention and wellness programs.
- Johnson & Johnson’s CEO Bill Weldon confirmed his company saved $20 million in 7 years by implementing employee wellness programs.
- Nearly a third of the children in this country are overweight and some experts believe up to one third of children will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lifetime.
- For the first time in the history of our nation, some medical experts warn that this younger generation may be on track to have a shorter life span than their parents as a direct result of the obesity epidemic.
- Revolution Foods, a start-up social venture in Oakland, CA made $10 million last year by asking schools to re-think the humble school lunch. They provide healthy, organic, home-style meals made locally from scratch.
- The average child gets less than 15 minutes of vigorous activity a day.
- The average U.S. child gets approximately 43 minutes of moderate physical activity a day.
- The average U.S. child spends 20% of his/her waking time watching TV.
- Obesity and superobesity are up 36% and 98%, respectively, in the past 20 years.
- The average child consumes at least 20 ounces of soda pop a day.
- The child of today is less fit and more fat than the child of the 60′s.
- Nine out of ten parents think their children are fit, when only one out of three are.
- At age 10, 45% of young people say they participate, or intend to participate, on a non-school team. Among 18-year-olds, the figure is 26%.
- Thirty percent of youths (10-19 years) have negative or neutral attitudes towards physical activity.
- In a typical physical education class, only 27% of actual physical education time is devoted to motor activity.
- The average heart rates in a typical 30-minute physical education class range between 90 and 129 beats per minute.
- Grade school students are 24% more active than high schoolers.
- Children exercise less as they get older, boys about 3% less each year; girls, 7.5%.