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Doctors: Childhood obesity has 'more than doubled' since 1999

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7:10 PM -

It appears the childhood obesity problem is ballooning upward on both sides of the border.

A new study from JAMA Pediatrics says the percentage of overweight and obese children in the U.S. has been rising steadily over the past 15 years, with severe childhood obesity rates more than doubling south of the border since 1999, according to the researchers.

Meanwhile, Canada has also been witnessing a "dramatic" increase in unhealthy weights in children.

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According to the Childhood Obesity Foundation, the epidemic had nearly doubled between 1978 and 2007, with 2011 figures suggesting that approximately 31% of Canadian youths are overweight. 

"If current trends continue, by 2040, up to 70% of adults aged 40 years will be either overweight or obese," the foundation says. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say obesity at an early age can lead to significant health concerns in later life, including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

The JAMA study is based on roughly 26,000 children between two and 19 years old.

With files from CNN

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