“One third of all children today will eventually suffer from diabetes – in the African American and Latino communities, it goes up to almost half,” Michelle said in her address to the Conference of Mayors.
Referring to a study published this month, Michelle said obesity can be a greater threat to Americans than smoking with medical experts predicting the current generation may have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
“Obesity is also one of the biggest threats to American economy. If we continue on our current path, in ten years, nearly 50 per cent of all Americans will be obese – not just overweight, but obese,” said the First Lady, who is also mother of two school going children.
She said obesity will increase health care spendings to treat problems like heart disease, cancer and diabetes and will affect the quality of living of people. “Think about all the missed days of work and decreased productivity we may see as a result,” she said adding such a time is close by.
“This isn’t some far-off, future problem we’re dealing with. Many of you are already seeing some of the costs and consequences in the cities and towns you lead,” she said.
Michelle will launch a major initiative on childhood obesity next month with combined resources of the federal government, business and non-profit sectors.