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HHS Launches Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative
Date:11/27/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Lady Laura Bush today saluted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' new Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative, announced today at the National Prevention Summit, which targets obesity prevention and the promotion of healthy weight for children.

Mrs. Bush delivered the keynote address at the summit, an annual HHS-hosted, cross-sector event that highlights new approaches to prevention and health promotion.

"Good health starts with good habits. By educating ourselves about our bodies -- and by taking simple steps to protect them -- we can prevent or delay some of today's most common and devastating health conditions," said Mrs. Bush.

"Our government is working to address one of the greatest dangers to America's young people: childhood overweight and obesity. Nearly one in five school-age children in the United States is overweight and the problem seems to be getting worse. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is launching a new effort -- led by the acting surgeon general -- to coordinate and expand our government's existing childhood-overweight and -obesity prevention programs."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, data from two National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) (1976-1980 and 2003-2004) show that prevalence of childhood overweight is increasing. For children aged 2-5 years, the prevalence increased from 5.0 percent to 13.9 percent; for those aged 6-11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5 percent to 18.8 percent; and for those aged 12-19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0 percent to 17.4 percent.

"Overweight children have a higher risk of being overweight or obese as adults, and facing the health problems that can result," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "Parents, government officials, community and education leaders must work together to help the children. I'm pleased tha
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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