"Horrifyingly scary" is how pediatrician Mark Roberts, M.D., describes childhood obesity. Roberts, the chief academic officer at Long Beach (Calif.) Memorial Hospital and its affiliate, Miller Children's Hospital, paints a grim picture of the problem. He says that strides in overcoming pediatric cancer, which now has an 80 percent cure rate, will be completely overshadowed by a forthcoming death rate explosion among obese children.

"We're looking at the first generation of children not expected to outlive their parents," he says. "We have never had anything like this in the modern industrial world. The level of obesity within children is increasing dramatically. In some states, 40 percent of young people are obese."

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