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Slow Fight Against Childhood Obesity

According to a new federal report, in spite of the awareness of obesity epidemic afflicting the kids in America and several new programs to overcome it//, the efficacy of these actions is not up to the mark.

These efforts need national leadership, according to the report, Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?, of the Institute of Medicine. This report was released yesterday.

"The very health of the country hangs in the balance until we reverse the childhood obesity epidemic," Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the report, said at a press conference.

"Leaders in Washington, in our home states and towns need to accept this cold hard fact: That if we do not reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity, millions of kids and our society will be robbed of a healthy and hopeful future," Lavizzo-Mourey said.

The childhood and adolescent obesity rates are increasing drastically in the US. The report reveals that at present, 1/3rd of the kids in America are either obese or at risk of becoming one. The obesity rate for kids and teenagers increased from 16% in 2002 to 17.1% in 2004 and is estimated to rise to 20% by 2010.

Several disorders like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers are caused by obesity. The report revealed that some steps are being taken in order to fight obesity. Encouragement for improved nutrition and physical activity in schools is one of the many federal policies introduced for this purpose. Sidewalks and bike paths have been constructed in several communities to encourage exercise.

According to the report, though there is an increase in the nationwide awareness of this problem, it will take years of sustained effort, evaluation, and resources to bring about positive changes in the health of children.

"The report provides a framework to
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