The Health Crisis Facing America’s Children

For the first time we are raising a generation of children who will live sicker lives and die younger than their parents. Over 1/3 of our children are now are now overweight and 1/2 of these are obese. More than 50% of children in the United States are not getting the benefits of vigorous play.  And children are developing chronic, traditionally adult diseases earlier in life, including:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart and kidney disease
  • stroke
  • diabetes cancer

 A Sedentary Lifestyle Puts Our Children at Risk

  • Our children are becoming more isolated, spending more time on solo activities.
  • 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day (more than 53 hours a week) to using entertainment media (Kaiser Family Foundation).
  • The daily use of entertainment media has increased 20.2% over the past 5 years.
  • Most youth say they have no rules about how much time they can spend with TV, video games, or computers.
  • Heavy media users report getting lower grades.
  • Only about 1 in 5 homes have parks within a half-mile (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

And Threatens our Fiscal Health

Focusing on getting active and retaining a healthy lifestyle pays off in both physical and fiscal health! The consequences of inactivity have significant long-term ramifications on spiraling healthcare costs.

  • Health Crisis75% of health care spending is on management of chronic diseases.
  • $147 billion per year is spent on obesity related health care and diseases.
  • Childhood obesity costs $14 billion annually.
  • Out of control health care costs have the potential to become our next economic crisis.
  • The Return on Investment (ROI) for every dollar spent on disease prevention, after 5 years is 5.6:1 (Trust for America’s Health).

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