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Children's Health: The Facts

This year, as President Obama and Congress work together to enact health reform that reduces health care costs for families, businesses, and government; protects a patient's choice of doctors, hospitals, and insurance plans; and assures quality affordable health care for all Americans, we hope that you will participate by promoting healthy lifestyles in your community – a key to avoiding costly disease and improving the nation's health.

The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 has more than doubled in the past 26ars, going from 6.5% in 1980 to 17.0% in 2006. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.6%. footnote 1

Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. Obesity in adulthood increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis, and a general poor health status. footnote 2

According to a 2006 CDC survey, 23% of black children and 20% of Hispanic children had not received the recommended five-vaccine series by the age of 35 months. footnote 3

Thirty-two percent of low income children ages 2-17 had not visited a dentist in the last year according to the same 2006 study.

Commit yourself and a team of your friends, family, and neighbors to help improve children’s health and join United We Stand. This tool kit will give you the basics to plan your activity, recruit a team, organize your own service project, and make an impact.

1. Obesity Prevalence, CDC, accessed 2009, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/chidhood/prevalence.html

2. The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_adolescents.htm

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (2006).

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