New York City – like the rest of the nation – is experiencing an obesity crisis. Obesity is among
the most rapidly growing serious health problems we face as Americans. According to research from the Mayor's office, in the early 1960s it affected only 13 percent of Americans; by 2007-2008 one-third (34 percent) were obese. It is also a leading cause of preventable death, second only to tobacco, and kills 5,800 New York City residents per year. Being overweight or obese is now the norm in our city: 58 percent of adults – or a total of 3,437,000 people – are overweight or obese. And the obesity epidemic strikes hardest in communities already suffering from health and economic disparities, particularly our black, Latino and low-income communities where the rate of overweight and obesity reaches 70 percent in some neighborhoods.
Obesity statistics are even more startling among NYC’s youth, despite recent progress. Among
NYC children ages 6-11 years, 21.3 percent are obese versus 19.6 percent nationally. Even
more are overweight and on a path to obesity once they are adults. The obesity epidemic, if left
unchecked, threatens to reverse the enormous progress made in health and life expectancy in
recent decades. If obesity rates continue to grow, this generation of children may live shorter
lives than their parents.
For more information please see here for actual research document.
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