Document Number: 6022Child Obesity in Indiana: A Growing Public Policy Concern - Childhood and adolescent obesity rates have reached epidemic proportions in the United States and are growing. Obesity is linked to a number of physical and mental health problems – about 300,000 deaths in all age groups are attributed to obesity itself each year – and the economic cost of obesity was approximately $177 billion in 2000. This brief attributes the rise in obesity to sedentary routines in schools and at home, overexposure to unhealthy snacks and non-nutritional foods and the decline in physical education. The brief also puts the rising obesity rate in a global context, provides examples of state and federal initiatives to combat childhood and adolescent obesity and examines childhood obesity in Indiana and recent actions taken by the state. (Kyle P. Cline, Terry E. Spradlin and Jonathan A. Plucker, Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Winter 2005)...