BOSTON (CBS) – The World Health Organization says the number of obese children and teens is now 10-times higher than it was 40-years ago.

Poor food choice and lack of exercise are largely to blame but overweight kids don’t just have physical challenges. Children face psychological challenges as well.

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Obese children are more likely to feel stigmatized, are often bullied and may not do as well in school. Overweight children tend to become overweight adults, putting them at risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other health effects.

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There is some good news; the rates of childhood obesity have leveled off here in the United States, but now we need to go in reverse.

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That will require a commitment on the part of doctors, legislators, educators and parents to get kids back on a path of good nutrition and regular exercise.

Dr. Mallika Marshall