Statistics: 24% of young adults obese

February 23, 2009

The dream of every generation is to have its next generation be better than the one before. That doesn?t appear to be happening, healthwise, for this current generation of American children.

The dream of every generation is to have its next generation be better than the one before. That doesn’t appear to be happening, healthwise, for this current generation of American children.

The newest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, released last week, is not good news. Obesity, poor or no health insurance, and smoking are key problem areas.

Almost one in four young adults (defined as between the ages of 18 and 29) are obese, and another 28% are overweight. In the younger sets the news is marginally better: 17% obesity rates for adolescents 12 to 17, and 15% overweight for school-age children 6 to 11.

A new statistic, high school students who smoke, was set at 20%, one in five. This is the lowest it’s been since the statsitc began to be collected in 1991. But once teens become young adults, the numbers spike to almost 30% for men; young women’s smoking levels remain about the same.

For insurance, 34% of young men, and 25% of young women, currently have no insurance. Until they turn 18, they would be eligible for SCHIP (State Child Health Insurance Program) if their family’s income was low enough. It seems once they reach “adulthood,” many don’t – or can’t – afford to take care of themselves properly.