Health Advice



Our children are our future -- let's make it as healthy as possible

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

In the past 40 years, the number of children with obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled. And the trend continues. A new study in JAMA looked at almost 15,000 children and teens and found that overall obesity increased from 18% to 21.4% for boys and from 17% to 21.6% for girls from 2011 to 2020. This is in kids! And not just overweight, but, obese! Especially affected were the youngest kids, ages 2 to 5: 10.3% were obese in 2011 and 12.9% were in 2020. Kids 12 to 19 also saw a significant jump -- from 17.7% to 21.5%.

Sadly, many of these kids will lose some of their brainpower and go on to develop chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and depression prematurely. Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity accounts for much of the problem. So does exposure to hormone disruptors such as BPS and PFAs in toys, clothes, etc.

Parents can help prevent obesity in their children. Better meal planning and more physical activities can go a long way to changing outcomes. And, it is possible to reduce exposure to environmental toxins. For guidance, check out the Environmental Working Group at Also, take a look at the American Medical Association's recommendations for where parents can find help improving their children's health:

-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at, search for "obesity initiatives."

-- American Academy of Pediatrics' Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight at:

-- U.S. Preventative Services Task Force at Search for "obesity in children."



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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