Obesity is a critical health issue in the United States. Over the last three decades, obesity in children aged between 6 and eleven years has jumped from 7% to 18%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for adolescents between the ages of twelve and nineteen, that figure has skyrocketed from 5% to almost 21%.
Children and adolescents who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults. They are at far greater risk of serious future health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, as well as certain types of cancer.
At a time in their lives when most teenagers are thinking about college, first loves and friends, adolescents struggling with obesity are often coping with the health risks they face, the psychological and emotional effects of being overweight and trying to lose their excess weight.