There's a TV reality show called Too Fat for 15. In the introduction they say we are raising "the first generation that may not live as long as their parents". That's a shame. A National shame and we should be collectively embarrassed at how we are feeding our children.
The Center For Disease Control says that in 2008, 19.6% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 were obese. And in the group aged 12 to 19, 18% were obese. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/index.htm
We're not talking slightly overweight, or a little out of shape, we are speaking about obesity - a condition which ultimately leads to any number of life-threatening diseases and ultimately to death. These numbers are shocking in the extreme.
Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult onset diabetes, has become increasingly prevalent among children and adolescents as rates of overweight and obesity rise.4 A CDC study estimated that one in three American children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.5
We can list dozens of "good reasons" for this statistic, - too busy, too poor, etc - and blame McDonalds. But in the end, we can blame only ourselves. And this is NOT something that government can "fix". You can't legislate away body fat. There's no "magic" cure for obesity. Diet and exercise are the only things that can change the status quo.
Perhaps one area where the government can have an impact is in the schools. They can seriously modify school lunch guidelines and they can institute requirements for nutritional education. They can mandate physical education classes. But realistically, that is ALL they can do.
It's up to the rest of us to figure out a game plan. Our children are dying and it's our fault. OURS, not the government's. The costs are more than monetary with regard to this issue. We are killing off our brightest and our best through apathy and indifference. That has never been the way Americans attack a problem. We conquered polio and small pox. Now, how are we going to handle this crisis?