Childhood obesity is an increasingly serious health threat and economic burden in the United States. The percent of school-age children age 6 to 1 who are overweight grew from 6.5 to 15.3 percent between the late 1970s and 2000. Obesity is associated with causing or increasing the risk of certain health conditions including: asthma, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Childhood obesity also increases the likelihood of adult obesity for an individual. This fact sheet provides a general overview of the demographics of childhood obesity. It also outlines the health consequences of childhood obesity and the status of physical activity in schools. The final section highlights facts about foods consumed by school-age children and describes what schools can do to improve children's nutrition. Recommendations include promoting healthy eating habits by providing more nutritious food and beverages and limiting sweetened drinks and high fat snacks in vending machines. The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, part of George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services, prepared this resource.

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