One out of three American children is overweight or obese and this is the first generation of children predicted to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. Not only does being overweight as a child impact a child's quality of life with significant health and social issues - it's also responsible for a collective $14.1B in direct annual medical costs for the country and worse - it's a significant predictor of adulthood obesity. An overweight adolescent has a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese as an adult.
Increasing awareness of childhood obesity is a critical first step in addressing the many drivers of and challenges contributing to this issue. The good news is that there are many innovative organizations already working to address the issue of childhood obesity - social ventures such as Revolution Foods - a leader in the healthy school lunch movement and KaBOOM! - an organization that pulls in cross-sector partners and engages communities to create safe places for all kids to play. To achieve a significant improvement in childhood obesity rates, the country needs a myriad of solutions that effectively promote healthier eating and active living for families - and the social capital markets can (and should!) play a critical role in scaling and expanding these solutions.
Article Excerpt: President Obama hails the work of First Lady Michelle Obama and "stakeholders across the public and private sectors" who have joined the Let's Move! campaign in a Proclamation declaring September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, 2012. Noting that "we are making real progress toward a healthier future for our children," the President urges Americans to "rededicate ourselves to meeting that critical responsibility."