Chronic Ailments Affect More Kids

Associated Press
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The number of American children with chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has soared in the past four decades, foreshadowing increases in adult disability and public health-care spending, researchers said yesterday.

More time in front of the television and the use of other electronic media, decreased physical activity, increased time spent indoors, increased consumption of fast foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, and changes in parenting are probably all to blame, the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In 1960, 1.8 percent of children and adolescents were reported to have a chronic health condition that limited their activities. By 2004, the rate was 7 percent.

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