A new study that has just been released reveals that 13% of Puerto Rican children entering kindergarten are obese.
The findings in the study that was conducted by the U.S. territory’s Education Department, show that the districts with the most obese kindergartners are spread throughout the Caribbean island and include both rural and urban areas.
Across Puerto Rico, where fried foods are popular, 13 percent of the 10,436 children who entered their first year in public school were classified as obese for being more than 20 percent over their ideal weight, according to the department’s food director, Lourdes Velazquez.
Across America it is predicted that by the year 2010, 20% of children will be obese.
Velazquez, a nutritionist, said the report should be a warning to parents and educators because childhood obesity has been linked to health problems including sleep apnea and diabetes at an early age, and doctors say it is an indicator of long-term weight problems.
Experts estimate that of the overweight and obese children, two-thirds will become overweight or obese adults.