Mia, With childhood obesity growing and creating life-threatening conditions that will plague our children's lives; we are endangering the lives of our children. We must begin to focus on this epidemic. Gerald S. Berenson, M.D., of Tulane University studied 14,000 children and young adults, making it the longest and most detailed study of children in the world. Dr. Berenson says half of these kids will die of heart disease if they continue their current lifestyle. Autopsies of children who died in accidents found that fatty streaks in their aorta began developing by age 3, and the damage showed up in the coronary arteries by age 10. The determinants of long-term health, food preferences and eating behavior, are decided in childhood. We establish our eating patterns in childhood, and they are very difficult to change in adulthood. Richard Strauss, M.D., director of the Childhood Weight Control Program at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is concerned about the latest statistics that show one in five kids is overweight and one in eight children is obese. Our overweight children have become an urgent national health problem.