Children in North America Share Critical Health Problems, Report Finds
Children in the United States, Canada, and Mexico share a number of health problems, including increasing rates of obesity, respiratory illness, and exposure to chemicals, a new report sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds.
For instance, more than a quarter of children in each country are obese, and obesity rates are rising. At the same time, a large number of children continue to live with hunger, malnutrition, and anemia. In addition, some regions of North America have shown a fourfold increase in the prevalence of asthma over the past twenty years, with the problem particularly pronounced along the U.S.-Mexico border. And continued exposure to lead, which can lead to developmental problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mental retardation, remains a concern.
"Good health is critical for children to reach their fullest potential," said Dr. William O'Hare, senior fellow at the Casey Foundation. "There are surprising similarities in the health challenges in each of the three countries examined in this report. [And] we are clearly seeing that increasing social and economic integration across the three countries means children are more likely to share the same issues and problems."