Quick Stats About Childhood Obesity
- Nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese
- 8.4% of children 2 – 5 years old are obese
- 17% of children 6 – 11 years old are obese
- 20.5% of children 12 – 19 years old are obese
This afternoon, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on Google+ Hangouts as part of TED-MED to discuss childhood obesity. Dr. Besser is a pediatrician and the Chief Medical Editor at ABC News, and the author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, a comprehensive health guide that will both inform and surprise as he deciphers fact from fiction for nearly 70 confusing medical questions.
Dr. Besser assembled a discussion panel for today’s session, including:
- Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association
- Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
- Elissa Epel, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
- Lisa Simpson, President and CEO, Academy Health
The group began by talking about stress and the effect it has on health, both in children and adults. Stress is biologically potent and causes us to overeat sweets. Research shows the combination of stress and overeating is “the most dangerous combination,” Elissa says. One of the challenges the group agrees on is taking the research and putting it into practice. Very little is happening so far to create actionable programs that make a difference.