Obesity has become an increasingly serious public health problem because of the role it tends to play on chronic medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes - as well as other things like high blood pressure and cancer.
These conditions are all dangerous in their own right and can contribute to significantly higher health and life insurance costs.
Healthcare professionals often advise parents to try to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits in their children from the earliest age possible. However, recent research serves as a reminder that for millions of people, such goals can be more difficult to accomplish.
For example, the Boston Herald recently highlighted research from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which found that young people in less affluent towns and cities are at greater risk for obesity than those in wealthier areas.
Still, the newspaper added that about one in three children in Massachusetts are currently overweight, indicating how widespread obesity has become across all demographics.
Obesity can result in a variety of lifelong medical problems that will cost their victims substantially over time in the form of higher medical costs and life insurance premiums.