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Document Number: 6149

A Nation at Risk: Obesity in the United States - Today, about 16% of all children and teens in the United States are overweight and obesity is increasing rapidly. This report examines obesity rates of children and teenagers by race, gender and geographical region, discusses the health and financial consequences of obesity and its causes. In 1993, 12 states had obesity prevalence rates between 15% and 19% and no state had rates at or above 20%. By 2003, 15 states had rates between 15% and 19%, 31 states had rates between 20% and 24%, and four states had rates at or above 25%. The consequences of higher obesity rates include higher health care costs and lower life expectancy. The report states that due to the rising obesity epidemic, the current generation of children could become the first generation of Americans to have shorter lives than their parents. (American Heart Association, 2005)...

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