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Mobilizing to Defeat the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Mobilizing to Defeat the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Abstract

Senator TomHarkin : childhood obesity public policy research Currently, the United States is confronted with a public health crisis of the first order. Nearly 15 percent of American children and teenagers are obese. Most parents do not look at their seven-year-old child and see a candi- date for heart disease, diabetes, or cancer later in life. However, a quarter of children between the ages of five and ten already show the early- warning signs of heart disease. It is of great concern when experts state that today's chil- dren could be the first generation in American history to have a shorter lifespan than their par- ent's generation. However, it is also of great concern to me that we do not have a clear understanding on the course to tackle and pre- vent childhood overweight and obesity. To address these challenges, I commend the authors in this special issue on childhood over- weight in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, who are examin- ing the many contributing factors that can lead to overweight or obesity among children. Children are facing an upward battle as sev- eral factors converge to increase their odds of becoming
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