WASHINGTON — If you think today’s teens are bigger than they were when their parents were that age — you are right.
New data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) shows obesity rates for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 increased from 10.5 percent in 1988-94 to 20.6 percent in 2013-14.
Extreme obesity also was on the rise for teens during that period, going from 2.6 percent to 9.1 percent.
The researchers who crunched the numbers found an increase in extreme obesity among younger kids too, but the rise was not nearly as pronounced.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the health effects of childhood obesity include a higher risk of pre-diabetes and heart problems.
The researchers behind this latest study of NHANES data did not go into the root causes of the increase in the obesity rate. But the CDC has long maintained that poor eating habits and lack of exercise are doing a number on our kids.
The study results were published in JAMA — the Journal of the American Medical Association.