If you struggle with getting your kids to eat healthy and exercise, you’re not alone. A newly released report found that despite previous reports that childhood obesity was decreasing, obesity in U.S. kids is getting worse.

Researchers from Duke University and Wake Forest University found that over 40% of 16 to 19-year-olds are obese. They also discovered that 26% of 2 to 5-year-olds were overweight and more than 15% were obese. “Despite the intense focus on reducing the U.S. childhood obesity epidemic over the past two decades, our progress remains unclear,” said Asheley Cockrell Skinner of Duke University.

It seems like all the efforts over the past several years to change obesity rates haven fallen flat. However, according to the researchers it’s not that the programs aren’t working, it’s that they just aren’t enough. More resources are needed to combat the problems of junk food and lack of exercise. “What is lacking is an effective strategy to address these drivers with sufficient intensity, consistency, and persistence. It is not enough for a child to receive more healthful meals at school (which is not always the case) if she encounters a gantlet of junk food after school.”

In other words it’s not enough to simply add healthy choices. More effort needs to be put toward eliminating junk food and getting kids up and moving.

What are your thoughts on childhood obesity? Tell us what you think in the comments.

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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