Children’s health is a major concern today, as can be illustrated by just a few statistics: One in three children in the US is overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2–5 years and adolescents aged 12–19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6–11 years. This is the first generation ever of children who have projected life spans shorter than those of their parents. Obese children and adolescents are more likely than non-obese children to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes); and according to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million American children have diabetes.

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