Battling obesity in America

By: trademagazin Date: 2011. 02. 28. 07:15

In its “Where America Stands” series, CBS News is looking at a broad spectrum of issues facing this country in the new decade.

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

# Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are overweight or obese.

# Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar medical burden every year.

# Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years.

As CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports, this could be the first generation since the Civil War to have a shortened life expectancy.

The Problem

To gauge the problem, a team of doctors and cardiologists from Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital set up a MASH unit of sorts in a middle school gym, where they run a battery of tests on 97 seemingly healthy children.

But the results reveal an alarming reality here: three out of every four children are either overweight or obese.

Heart Screening for all Sixth Graders?

That means about seventy of the children are on a high-risk trajectory for coronary artery disease by their 30's and 40's.

Doctor Joshua Samuels treats kids with blood pressure levels of an unhealthy adult. Back at his clinic, 11-year-old Wesley Randall has dangerously high blood pressure, and is 60 pounds overweight.

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