The National Center For Health Statistics has confirmed child obesity is still highest in Canada and the United States.
Canada and the United States still lead the way in child obesity.
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Cynthia Ogden works at the National Center for Health Statistics. She confirmed the fact to CBC News on Aug. 25.
"Both Canada and the United States have seen increases in childhood obesity from 1980 to the beginning of the 21st century," she said. "And then no recent changes in prevalence."
Thirteen percent of kids in Canada are obese. In the United States, it's 17.5 percent, per CBC News.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the findings on Tuesday. Its study is entitled "Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents In Canada and the United States," per CBC News.
The study focused on children aged three to 19 years old. In the 1970s, only five percent of these individuals in Canada were obese. In the United States, it was 5.6 percent, per CBC.ca.
Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have doubled in the last 30 years. This has quadrupled in adolescents, per CDC.gov.
Only five percent of American teenagers were obese in 1980. In 2012, it became 21 percent, per CDC.gov.
Mark Tremblay works at the Children's Hospital in Eastern Ontario. He told CBC News about the possible repercussions of the findings.
"Even if we're flat-lining, it's at the highest level ever," Tremblay said. "The cost is enormous in terms of physical, emotional, mental, social impact; which suggests to me more needs to be done."
Tremblay also warns government initiatives toward child obesity may take time, per CBC News.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed several effects of childhood obesity:
- Increased risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Two of these are high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Obese adolescents are at risk of developing prediabetes.
- Obese children and adolescents may develop bone and joint problems as adults. They can also develop sleep apnea, stigmatization and low self-esteem.
- These children may stay obese when they become adults. As a result, they are at risk of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer and osteoarthritis.