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Fact Sheet

Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future logoChildhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative

Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future

To date more than 12.5 million children and adolescents -- 17.1 percent of people ages 2 to 19 years -- are overweight. As they grow older, overweight children and adolescents are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes. Overweight is the result of caloric imbalance (too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed) and is mediated by genetics and health. Teaching kids the importance of eating well and being physically active at a young age is crucial to reversing the trend of overweight in this country.

The Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future initiative focuses on recognizing and showcasing those communities throughout America that are coming together to address childhood overweight and obesity prevention by encouraging kids to eat right and exercise. To change children’s eating and activity habits, this initiative concentrates on many of the people who influence our children including parents, caregivers, schools, public health leaders and local community leaders. The Surgeon General will embark on a national tour to recognize and highlight those communities with effective prevention programs and motivate community members to join together in their efforts to encourage kids to eat healthier and increase physical activity to at least 60 minutes a day.

The Surgeon General will encourage community members to:

  • Help Kids Stay Active
  • Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
  • Promote Healthy Choices

Potential Partners
Federal agencies, state and local government agencies, community based organizations, faith based organizations, parents, educators, youth organizations, health care providers, minority serving organizations, corporations and other businesses, trade associations, disability serving organizations, decision/policymakers, media

Did You Know?

  • Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
  • The number of overweight children has more than tripled over the past three decades.
  • Studies show that nearly 34 percent of children and teens in America are either overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.
  • Research has shown that parents are often their children’s most important role model. If children see their caregivers enjoying healthy foods and being physically active, they are more likely to do the same.

For Additional Information, Please Contact:
Office of Public Health and Science
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Suite 716 G
Washington, DC 20201
Julie Stellman Moreno
Phone: 202.205.0143

Or visit the Surgeon General’s Web site at


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at