Americans apparently have a crisis on both ends of the spectrum. Or should that be waistline?
Trust for Americanís Health announced findings from a study this week showing that obesity rates continued to climb in 31 of the nationís states. This yearís report, for the first time, includes young people in the study, and the obesity rates for children ages 10 to 17 range from 22.8 percent in the District of Columbia to 8.5 percent in Utah.
Such trends are certainly tied to the increasing instances of high blood pressure and diabetes in young teens.
These statistics are receiving considerable attention which sometimes overshadows the ongoing malnutrition problem facing a large segment of Americaís children. Children who are too fat and those who are too thin are often victims of the same malady ó poor nutrition. They are getting either too much or too little to eat, and too often that food is not the best choice for growing bodies. This situation can sometimes be a byproduct of poverty, because many of the least expensive foods are those that are least healthy. But it can also be the result of poor education, combined with lack of incentive to be physically active.
The crisis facing our children will only become more troubling in time as they arrive at adulthood with poor habits that might diminish quality and length of life, and add to the expense of health care in decades to come. Thatís a horrible legacy to leave for the future generation.