Childhood obesity is epidemic in America. These days, fifteen percent of children are overweight, up from only four percent back in 1990. But beyond inciting teasing on the playground, obesity is wreaking havoc on kids’ health, causing such conditions as adult onset diabetes. Many medical experts now call it a disease.
They point to sedentary lifestyles, video games, and fast food as the main culprits, but solutions are hard to come by. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of a fat-blocking drug for teens that until now has only been prescribed for adults. But are drugs with serious side effects the way to go? Has America given up on the idea of exercise ?
Marc S. Jacobson, Division of Adolescent Medicine at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York
Caroline Apovian, director, Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center
David Ettenberg, owner of Camp Shane, a weight loss camp for children