One of the most enduring health issues in America remains obesity, especially among young people. As a result, there have been countless studies and researches over the years about the total number of young Americans affected by obesity. Seventeen percent of Americans, aged 2-19, are affected by obesity, a 5% increase from the 1970s. However, as this NY Times article highlights, some of these studies have been questioned, especially in terms of methodology, though both paint a grim picture of youth obesity in America. The current focus is whether youth obesity is declining.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina and a team of federal researchers, is widely believed to be the most accurate picture of youth obesity in America. The researchers looked at data of young people aged 2 to 5 over a 14-year span to draw appropriate conclusions about childhood obesity. They concluded that obesity remained flat during the time span.