A: Weight gain may occur when individuals consume more energy or calories through their diet than they exert. As this imbalance continues over time, an individual increases his or her risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Q: How has childhood obesity increased over time?
A: Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents between 1980 and 2012. During this time period, the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% to nearly 18%. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21%.
NCHS. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Feature on Death and Dying. Hyattsville, MD. 2011
NCHS. Health, United States, 2013: With Special Feature on Prescription Drugs. Hyattsville, MD. 2014
Q: What are some social problems linked to obesity in youth?
A: Social problems include increased bullying and stigmatization because of weight and are often associated with poor self-esteem.
Q: What are intermediate and long-term outcomes of poor diet and inactivity in childhood?
A: Intermediate outcomes that begin in childhood include obesity, metabolic syndrome, inadequate bone health, under-nutrition, iron deficiency, eating disorders, and dental caries.
Long term outcomes include: cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Q: What are examples of sedentary behaviors?
A: Television viewing, non-active computer and video game use, sitting, and eating meals in front of the television are considered sedentary behaviors.
Q: What environmental factors and other sectors of society influence children's diet, activity levels, and overall health?
A: Environmental factors include the home environment and parental influence; the school environment; access to healthy food options and physical activity in the community; food and beverage advertising and marketing.
Other sectors of society that can affect children's diet, activity levels, and overall health include families, community organizations, health care providers, religious and/or faith-based institutions, government agencies, the food and beverage industry, schools, and the media.