Earlier this week, Fox News continued its transition from Glenn Beck with The Five, a show that debuted with a litany of sexist stereotypes. On Tuesday, the show gave co-host Greg Gutfeld a platform to dismiss concerns that childhood obesity was an epidemic and to instead compare it to bad breath.
After discussing Michelle Obama's recent trip to the Shake Shack, Gutfeld called the First Lady "our nation's anti-obesity leader," and went on to dismiss the widespread problem of childhood obesity:
But health experts agree that childhood obesity is a severe health crisis in America. A 2007 working group report by the National Institutes of Health stated that childhood obesity had "reached epidemic proportions" in America; according to the Centers for Disease Control, "childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years." The CDC also outlined how dangerous obesity is to the health of children, both immediately and continuing into their adulthood:
- Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.5
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.3,6
- Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.6