‘Severely obese:’ 5 percent of U.S. kids, teens fit risky new category

Sept. 9, 2013, NBC News

By JoNel Aleccia

Overall obesity rates for American kids may have leveled off, but a new report finds that children and teens at the far end of the spectrum are getting heavier, faster — with about 5 percent now classified as “severely obese.”

That means nearly 4 million U.S. youth fall into a new category of obesity risk, one that carries dangers of serious disease and early death, even beyond expected harms, according to a scientific statement published Sept. 9 by the American Heart Association.

“It appears that severe obesity is the fastest-growing subcategory of obesity in youth,” write the authors in the report published in the journal Circulation.

Worse, when children get that big, it’s difficult to help them lose weight with traditional tools of diet and exercise, or even with drugs and surgery. Continue reading