Rockville, Maryland—During the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, increasing to 18 percent among children ages 6 to 11. More than 23 million children and teenagers (31.8 percent) ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight, which constitutes an epidemic. “The growing rate of childhood obesity in our country is of grave concern,” said Benjamin L. Harris, CPA, CGMA, President and CEO of BLH Technologies, Inc. “Childhood obesity is entirely preventable. It’s up to adults to encourage healthy habits.”
Obese young people have an 80-percent chance of becoming obese adults; are more likely than children of normal weight adults to become overweight or obese adults; and are more at risk for associated adult health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. From an economic perspective, obesity alone causes roughly $14 billion per year in direct health care costs. About 9 percent of Americans’ total medical costs are spent on obesity-related illnesses. Furthermore, psychosocial consequences resulting from obesity can hinder academic and social functioning and can persist into adulthood.
September 2010 was the first National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, established by presidential and congressional proclamations. In observance of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September 2015, organizations, advocates, and families nationwide are planning events and activities to build awareness of childhood obesity and ways to combat it.
“Childhood obesity is a public health crisis," said Congresswoman Kay Granger, a House resolution co-sponsor. “[National] Childhood Obesity Awareness Month supports the goals of families, schools, and communities that are working to ensure [that] we raise a healthier generation. If we keep our kids healthy now, it will alleviate a major burden on our health care system while giving millions of young people the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives.” Information and resources are available on line at http://www.coam-month.org.
BLH Technologies, Inc. is a professional and technical services firm offering talent and skill to Federal and State governments and private-sector businesses in four core areas: data analytics and research, communications and outreach, safety monitoring, and technology solutions. BLH’s website is www.blhtech.com.