It is important to remember, however, the immortal words of Mark Twain about “lies, damn lies and statistics.”
You see, there are other researchers that argue that the obesity is not necessarily as dire of a problem as alarmist indicate. They site the faulty and changing standards for measuring obesity. For example the current guideline for obesity using the Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25; 20 years ago it was 29. They dispute the idea that obese kids turn into obese adults – one study that show 20% of kids deemed obese grow out of the obese category within three years. Others argue that taking a global statistic and applying it to an individual is inherently problematic.
The one thing they seem to agree on is that childhood obesity is a growing phenomenon.
If you think that the statistics are confusing you should take a look at the arguments about the causes of childhood obesity. Is it processed food? Is it lack of exercise? Genetics? Socio-economic status related? Pollution? Stress? Social messages about food? Lack of sleep? This list is long – in fact a British study identifies over 100 relevant factors.
This is a subject that fascinates me and I am excited about the opportunity to learn more. I’ll keep you posted!