Overweight Children: Living Large

Overweight children may be setting themselves up for a lifetime of health problems--if they don't take action now

Greg Miller for TIME

The highest levels of obesity tend to be found in the South; a regional diet traditionally heavy in fried foods probably contributes to the numbers.

High cholesterol. Soaring blood pressure. A fatty liver. Dangerously elevated insulin levels. Even a first-year medical student could recognize the signs of a middle-aged patient struggling with weight problems and diabetes and probably heading for a heart attack.

And in most cases, that med student would be right. But increasingly, the same deadly mix of problems is appearing in a startlingly younger population: teens and adolescents barely through their second decade of life. While the obesity epidemic is starting to show signs of waning, doctors are bracing for the more lasting legacy it leaves behind--a cohort of kids who are getting...

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