Dr. Thomas N. Robinson of Stanford University, a member of the committee that prepared the report, said that many health care providers are worried about the future as obese children age and adult chronic diseases are beginning in the teen years and younger. "Everything is affected by overweight," he said.
The report from the IOM, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is the latest to focus on childhood obesity. Over the last 30 years the rate of childhood obesity has tripled among youngsters aged 6 to 11 and has doubled for those aged 2 to 5 and 12 to 19, the institute reported.
Obesity can lead to increased likelihood of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems, high cholesterol, gallstones and other problems.
Specifically, the panel suggested that parents limit kids' TV hours, that schools provide healthier food, that restaurants offer nutrition information and that communities provide more recreation opportunities.