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Childhood Obesity: Shifts in Society

The ratio of a person's weight to height is known as body mass index, or BMI. Children with a BMI at or higher than the 95th percentile (for their age) are considered obese. Children with a BMI at or higher than the 85th percentile are considered overweight. Today, almost 20 percent of kids ages 6 to 19 are overweight.

What are the causes of childhood obesity? Experts blame shifts in our society. (Watch Aaron’s story.) What used to be considered overweight we now see as average. We eat more and more often on the run. We drive more and walk less, and our kids are learning by example (Watch Alejandra’s and Akeila’s story). There’s still plenty of time to change our habits and reverse these trends.

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