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Too many of Alaska's kids are growing up at an unhealthy weight.

Many of them do not get enough physical activity, and they drink too many sugary beverages. They are suffering the consequences. Obese children today suffer from serious conditions that used to occur only in adulthood, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Play Every Day is working with partners across Alaska to improve the healthy options Alaska families have to eat and drink and support families in being more physically active.

  • One out of three Alaska children is overweight or obese.1
  • Two out of three Alaska adults are overweight or obese.1
  • Being above a healthy weight increases the chances of developing weight-related chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more than a dozen types of cancer.2, 3

Childhood obesity is a significant health problem across the country.

  • Children today may be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents because of weight-related, preventable diseases.4 
  • In Alaska, the direct medical costs for obesity have reached close to half a billion dollars each year. One-fourth of these costs are paid with public dollars.5

Play Every Day and its partners are working to ensure every Alaska child has the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight, free from preventable, weight-related diseases.

References

1. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Alaska Obesity Facts Report. Anchorage, Alaska: Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; October 2017. Available at: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Documents/Obesity/pubs/2017AlaskaObesityFacts.pdf

2. U.S. DHHS. The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, January 2010.8-1245. 

3. Steele BC, Thomas CC, Henley J, Massetti GM, Galuska DA, Agurs-Collins T, Puckett M, Richardson LC. Vital Signs: Trends in Incidence of Cancer Associated with Overweight and Obesity – United States, 2005-2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 3, 2017. Vol 66.

4. Olshansky SJ, Passaro DJ, Hershow RC, et al. A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century. N Engl J Med 2005; 352:1138-1145.

5. Trogdon JG, Finkelstein EA, Feagan CW, Cohen JW. State- and payer-specific estimates of annual medical expenditures attributable to obesity. Obesity 2012;20(1):214-220.

Webpage updated December 2019​