The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the country's largest public health foundations, announced that it plans to spend $500 million to fight childhood obesity. The foundation's president outlines the program.
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Now, a call to action, and a major boost of cash, to fight the growing problem of obesity in America's children.
Study after study shows more American kids are growing up overweight. The number of overweight kids has tripled in the last 30 years: 25 million Americans under 17 are now considered obese or overweight.
In 1963, the average 10-year-old weighed about 76 pounds. Today, about 87 pounds. Kids eat more unhealthy foods and exercise less. One study showed only about a quarter of kids have physical education class at school.
The problems go beyond appearance and self-confidence. Medical treatments for these children cost $14 billion a year, and those bills will stack up as the children grow into unhealthy adults.
DR. JOSEPH THOMPSON, Arkansas Surgeon General:
When we look at the adult diseases that are starting to occur in children, we can not afford not to take action.
This week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, created by the long-time CEO of Johnson and Johnson, announced it will contribute half a billion dollars over five years to join in the fight against childhood obesity.