By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Recently there have been several reports which have suggested that the childhood obesity rate was declining.

Unfortunately this is not the case.

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According to a report in the journal Pediatrics, the childhood obesity rate has risen in the United States between 2014 and 2016 by almost five percent.

This is a problem that is occurring throughout much of the world as well.

For instance, the obesity epidemic in Ireland is growing and in that country it has been dramatic.

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There has been a 62 percent increase in childhood obesity since 2007.

The lesson here is one that we must listen to. With obesity comes a variety of health problems including increasing risks of diabetes and heart disease.

When obesity attacks at younger ages, the problems occur at younger ages.

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We need to look at this issue very closely and make changes in diet, the amount of exercise children receive, and most importantly the types of food their eating.