The Childhood Obesity Pandemic
Obesity rates are rising across the globe, affecting countries rich and poor, and leaving no one immune to the risk of growing up at an unhealthy weight. According to the World Obesity Federation, the number of children living with obesity worldwide is expected to grow from an estimated 158 million to over 250 million in the next 10 years. In the U.S. alone, obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades, and today 1 in 5 school-aged youth are considered obese.
Obesity can harm nearly every system in a child’s body – heart and lungs, muscles and bones, kidneys and digestive tract, as well as the hormones that control blood sugar and puberty. It is associated with a wide range of serious health implications, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and risk of premature illness and death. It can also take a heavy emotional toll on a child’s wellbeing, with greater risks of experiencing social and psychological problems such as discrimination, poor self-esteem and depression.
The obesity pandemic is a complex problem driven by multiple systematic, environmental, behavioral and psychological factors. As a society, we have changed the types and quantities of food we eat, reduced physical activity and engaged in more passive leisure-time pursuits. Like many of the health disparities facing our nation, the obesity pandemic disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities from low-income communities. The highest rates of childhood obesity are found in African-American, Latino and rural communities.
Gasol Foundation Childhood Obesity Efforts
Gasol Foundation focuses our efforts in the most underserved communities where children’s health is at greatest risk. We are building a world where children and their families are empowered with the healthy habits, community support and global innovation required to eradicate childhood obesity.