It seems not only McDonald’s is to blame for America’s childhood obesity epidemic, lack of sleep plays a role too. Behind lack of sleep in children lies the culprits cell phones, TV, video games and computers. Children’s rooms are often personal media and gaming libraries, leading to a temptation to play rather than sleep. This leads to exhaustion and increased laziness throughout the day. The brain chemical leptin, which decreases with too little sleep, is also thought to play a role.

According to the American Obesity Association, ‘5.5 percent of adolescents (ages 12 to 19) and 15.3 percent of children (ages 6 to 11) are obese.’ These statistics show a dramatic increase over the last twenty years. The National Institute of Health (NIH) calls childhood obesity an, ‘epidemic’. The bottom line seems to be that American is raising a generation of fat, lazy people. The bigger issue is that down the line, childhood obesity can lead to other more pressing health concerns such as cardiac problems, diabetes (even juvenile) and a shortened life expectancy. Added health concerns lead to added health costs. The solution? Simple. Move more, eat less and get more rest at night. The Surgeon General is even taking notice. If Americans want to see health care costs decrease in the future, they should start with the lives of their children.

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