The Blog

The Blog

May I Have Your Attention Please?

By Brett Klika

What’s the problem?

  • In 1980, 15 percent of Americans were obese.
  • Currently, 33% of Americans are obese.

So what?

  • In 2008, health care spending in the United States reached $2.4 trillion, and was projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012.1 Health care spending is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2016.
  • Most adults in the US will be overweight or obese by 2030, with related health care (health care specifically related to obesity) spending projected to be as much as $956.9 billion, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Why is the future so grim?

  • Physical inactivity as a child could result in physical inactivity as an adult. In a fitness survey of 6,000 adults, researchers discovered that 25% of those who were considered active at ages 14 to 19 were also active adults, compared to 2% of those who were inactive at ages 14 to 19, who were now said to be active adults.
  • According to a report released by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern for kids in 2008, topping smoking and drug abuse. In 2007, childhood obesity ranked third among parents’ top 10 overall health concerns for kids.
  • A review by obesity researcher David Ludwig of Children’s Hospital Boston, epidemiologist S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues concludes that obesity now reduces average life expectancy by about 4 to 9 months, a conservative estimate. More ominously, the researchers further conclude that if the current epidemic of child and adolescent obesity continues unabated, life expectancy could be shortened by two to five years in the coming decades.
  • Some reports project 1 in 3 children is currently at risk to develop Type II diabetes in the next 10 years.
  • 2.7 Million kids are currently at risk for developing type II diabetes.
  • Type II diabetes rarely observed in children 15 years ago, thus the tag “Adult-onset Diabetes”

What’s causing this?

  • Gallons of high fructose corn syrup produced in 1967: 3,000
  • Gallons of high fructose corn syrup produced in 2005: 9,227,000 tons
  • Each corn syrup or sugar-sweetened drink a child consumes a day increases his or her obesity risk by 60 percent.
  • French Fries are one of the three most common “vegetables” consumed by infants 9-11 months of age.
  • Every hour of television teens watch increases their risk of developing obesity by 2%.
  • Research discovered the obese children were 35% less active on school days and 65% less active on weekends compared to non-obese children.

Who can we blame?

  • By the age of 6, kids born to overweight mothers are 15 times more likely to be obese than kids born to normal-weight mothers.
  • A survey of 8,000 kids found that those who didn’t eat meals with their family but watched a lot of TV were more likely to become overweight by the third grade.
  • A report by the Federal Trade Commission found “junk food” companies spent $150 million on “in school” marketing for their product.
  • A report by the Federal Trade Commission found that 44 major food and beverage marketers spent $1.6 billion to promote their products to children under 12 and adolescents ages 12 to 17 in the United States.
  • Banning fast food advertising from childrens’ programs could reduce overweight children in the u.s. by 18% economists have estimated in a recent study.

What can we do about it?

  • Children who play sports are 80% less likely to be overweight compared to kids that didn’t play any.
  • Research found that adolescents that ate 6-7 family meals per week ate significantly more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods than their counterparts that ate 3-4 family meals per week.
  • A three year randomized controlled study of 1,704 3rd grade children which provided two healthy meals a day in combination with an exercise program and dietary counseling failed to show a significant reduction in percentage body fat when compared to a control group. In a similar study found that when the entire family participated in the program, following behaviors at home, displayed an overwhelmingly significant reduction in percent body fat when compared to the control group.

Let’s all work together to CREATE CHANGE!

Coach Brett Klika is the Director of Athletic Performance at Todd Durkin’s Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He specializes in youth fitness and athletic performance, overseeing a staff of 8 strength coaches developing programs for over 300 youth per week, both athletes and non-athletes. He presents around the world to both trainers and corporations with Todd Durkin Enterprises on a variety of health, wellness, and athletic performance topics. Brett contributes monthly to the award-winning “TD Times” newsletter. If you would like to sign up, you can do so by visiting, or use the contact form below: [easy-contact]

Similar Posts