Our nation is in the midst of a public health crisis so profound that is it undermining our well-being, our economic competitiveness and even our long-term national security.
Fully two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. One-third of American children are overweight or obese. And among children under the age of six, nearly one in five is overweight or obese. Obese people are far more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease and cancer. Obese children are more likely to have one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease, to be prediabetic (i.e., at high risk for developing diabetes), and to suffer from bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. They are also very likely to become obese adults. In short, obesity is the most urgent public health problem in America today.