Epidemic Proportions

For many Orange County residents, lack of access to nutritious foods, high stress levels, extreme time constraints and a poor understanding of nutrition all contribute to unhealthy eating and sedentary behaviors, leading to obesity and increased risk of serious health problems.

70% According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of obese children have at least one cardiovascular risk factor (such as high blood pressure or cholesterol) and 39 percent have two or more.   All told 112,000 youth are overweight in Orange County.
  Source: UCLA: California Health Interview Survey, 2009
Kids with Yoga Balls
By the Numbers: In Orange County 10% of children are overweight, 25% of teens are overweight, 50% of adults are overweight or obese.
Source: UCLA. California Health Interview Survey, 2009. Web.

Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in Orange County, with half of all adults now classified as overweight or obese. These individuals are at high risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases, which are a significant drain on the healthcare resources in the county—just a handful of weight-related illnesses account for 75 percent of U.S. healthcare costs. And according to the American Heart Association, obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature heart attack.

Obesity is not just an adult problem. One quarter of teens and 10 percent of children are overweight—more than 112,000 Orange County youth in all. And the number is rising. In the last year, national fitness standards show a 14 percent increase in unhealthy body composition for Orange County students in grades 5, 7 and 9.

Many children don’t have a safe place to play outside of school recess or gym class. As school budget cuts lead to fewer extracurricular activities, childhood activity levels suffer even more.

75% Weightrelated issues account for 75% of healthcare costs.Childhood obesity is causing a broad range of health problems previously not seen until adulthood, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of obese children have at least one cardiovascular risk factor (such as high blood pressure or cholesterol) and 39 percent have two or more. Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, leading to health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition, adult obesity is likely to be more severe for those who were obese as children.

And to make matters worse, obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.