Having a BMI above the 95th percentile, according to the US Centers for Disease Control's 1980 standards for children of a given age
-In 2012, 18 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds in the United States were obese.
-Childhood obesity is increasing worldwide, having more than doubled since 1980 in Mexico, the United States, and Canada).
-Childhood overweight correlates with asthma, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol
-As excessive weight builds, average school achievement decreases, self-esteem falls, and loneliness rises.
*Nations differ not only in obesity rates but also in children's television ads.
*The amount of advertising of unhealthy foods on television correlates with childhood obesity—except in nations where few children watch TV.
As you see, the incidence of obesity (defined here as a BMI above the 95th percentile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 growth charts) increases as children grow older. Not shown is the rate in infancy, which is significantly lower for every group. The "All Groups" rate includes children of groups not shown separately, such as biracial, Asian, Hawaiian, Alaskan native, and American Indian.
Rather than trying to zero in on any single factor, a dynamic-systems approach is needed: Many factors, over time, make a child overweight (Harrison et al., 2011). Changing just one factor is not enough. The answer to the second "What Will You Know?" question at the start of this chapter: Everyone is to blame.
-What is to blame?
*LOOK AT OBESITY CHART
This figure shows the percent of 6- to 17-year-olds prescribed psychoactive drugs in the previous six months. About half of these children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the rest have a variety of anxiety, mood, and other disorders. But these data are averages, gathered from many communities. In fact, some schools, even in the South, have very few medicated children, and others, even in the West, have many in every class. The regional variations evident here are notable, but much more dramatic are rates by school, community, and doctor—some of whom are much quicker to medicate children than others.