The study uses data from a famous survey called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which has been collecting nutrition and health information for years on a large section of the population, making it a good indicator of the USA's overall health status.
The only reason I bring this up is because we live right next to this country and our behaviors are really quite similar: We have a large portion of the population that's inactive or obese, chronic disease rates are increasing rapidly and our diets are very similar. So it is safe to say these statistics may indicate our own health or our potential in the near future.
The first scary fact:
One of the surprising findings from this study was that even though obesity prevalence plateaued from 1999 to 2008, the prevalence of prediabetes or diabetes actually increased, and it increased quite significantly from 9% to 21%
So in just 10 years, rates of diabetes in CHILDREN has risen 150%. That's not all though.
The journal goes on to talk about how most many children in this age group are carrying a significant risk for future heart disease. In fact, in normal weight children, 37% carried at least 1 serious risk factor for heart disease and the number of risks continued to go up as weight increased. With 1 in 3 children now being identified as overweight or obese, what does this tell you?
They say there is a real chance the parents of this generation may outlive their own children and its facts like this that are the reason why. The article calls for screening of younger children for diabetes and heart disease and while I agree that this could be beneficial, I think it's more important to see this as an eye opener that we have to change our policies around how children are living (as well as adults).
There needs to be a greater encouragement for activity, be it sports, gymnastics, swimming or just getting outside each day. There needs to be a movement away from endless supplies of junk food in homes, schools and anywhere else children are often present. We need to encourage whole foods and home cooking. Think about how much our society has shifted in the past 30 years: from active jobs, lifestyles and fresh foods to over worked, over stressed, sedentary jobs and conveniece foods.
It's time to make a change before our healthcare system collapses on itself.