"We're facing a population of children who suffer from obesity like never before," said Troy Glembot, a bariatric surgeon at the Winchester Medical Center.
It has become more serious. Obesity in children has increased and it can pose severe health hazards.
"These children actually have the chance of a shorter life expectancy than the parents," adds Glembot.
That is news no parent wants to hear. That is why health professionals gathered for a conference to address the challenges and needs of this condition.
"Children's activity levels aren't the same as they were 20 or 30 years ago. Their dietary habits and access to foods are different than it was and a lot of dual working parents, for example, find it difficult to have home cooked meals," adds Glembot.
Doctors are now saying obesity is linked to diabetes, something people were less aware of before.
"Certainly childhood obesity is on the rise and so consequently, diabetes is on the rise in the younger population and that's why we don't call it an adult offset anymore, we call it Type 2 diabetes because we are now seeing 11 and 12-year olds with diabetes," says Ruth Wenzel, a certified diabetes educator and nurse practitioner.
An unstable diet, high levels of stress, or ethnicity can all play a role.
While this can be a scare, Wenzel says it is never too late to make positive changes.
"Smoking and obesity are the two modifiable risk factors, things that we can change, we can't slow the aging process, we can't change some things but other things we can," adds Wenzel.
They say portion control and receiving regular cholesterol screenings do make a difference in a child's health. It is also recommended for them to learn to read food labels, exercise once a day and to quit bad habits.