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September 28th, 2010
NEED TO KNOW
Reshaping Suburbia: The fight against childhood obesity

Seventeen percent of American kids are obese. Not a little chubby, but actually obese. Doctors define obesity in children as being in the 95th percentile or above the recommended Body Mass Index rate for their age.

Beyond the physical problems, there’s a strain on the health care system. Childhood obesity costs $3 billion a year. And many American cities are also unhealthy by design: The infrastructure we’ve built keeps us in our cars longer and discourages us from walking or biking.

But that is starting to change in places like Somerville, Massachusetts, where an innovative anti-obesity program is making real progress. In cooperation with our colleagues at Blueprint America, medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay traveled to Somerville, just outside Boston, to see how the program works.

Related:

A closer look at the obesity statistics provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

What is your BMI?

What is your child’s BMI?

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