From Dr. Mercola:

According to the latest statistics,1 about 75 percent of American men and 67 percent of women are either overweight or obese. This means less than one-third of US adults are at a healthy weight.

The statistics for children are equally disturbing. Over 17 percent of American children between the ages of 2 and 19 fall into the obese category, which can set them up for a lifetime of very serious health problems.

“The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis” is the third episode of a four-part HBO documentary series2 about obesity in America. You can view the first part here.

This episode hones in on childhood obesity, highlighting the need to become better educated about weight, as it’s really about health, not mere appearance.

As the filmmakers note:3

“The health consequences of childhood obesity include greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and other serious illnesses.

The combination of these health effects and the dramatic increase in childhood obesity rates over the past three decades causes some experts to fear this may be the first generation of American children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents …

For parents of obese children, responsible parenting means more than tackling health challenges head on. It also means doing the hard work of finding supportive, healthy communities that will instill long-term habits that promote healthy living.”

Obesity Is a Marker for Many Chronic Diseases That Can Cut Life Short

Obesity is closely tied to a number of chronic diseases. In the US, eight obesity-related diseases account for 75 percent of all healthcare costs.

This includes type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and dementia. About one-third of all cancers are also directly related to obesity.

When you consider that two hallmarks of obesity are insulin/leptin resistance and chronic inflammation, you can begin to recognize that excess weight is fertile ground for a wide array of other ailments — many of which can cut your life significantly short.

Obese children significantly increase their risk of suffering obesity-related illnesses and complications far earlier in life than others.

Case in point: research4 presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015 revealed obese children as young as 8 now display signs of heart disease!

Processed Food Diet Is at the Heart of the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

The long-held conventional view that obesity is either the result of “bad genetics” or poor lifestyle choices, combined with a certain amount of laziness or lack of willpower, has now largely been debunked.

The fact that obesity rates 50 to 60 years ago were only one-third of what they are today is a potent clue that genetics are not to blame. Also, a number of other affluent nations do not have the same obesity problems as the U.S.

For example, the obesity rate among Japanese and Swedish women is 3 and 10 percent respectively,5 compared to 37

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