The obesity epidemic that has swept the United States in recent years is now impacting children all across the country.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that obesity is responsible for 160,000 “excess” deaths every year. One of the very tangible consequences of this epidemic has been the rise in juvenile diabetes — one third of all children born after 2000 in the United States are now at risk for suffering from diabetes in their lifetime.
Even before the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, launched her Let’s Move! initiative against childhood obesity, there was someone else leading the fight. Full Frame Newsmaker and boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard, and his wife Bernadette, started The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation in 2009, working to raise funds to find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. The six-time boxing world champion watched his dad and friends struggle with the many complications of diabetes and has committed himself to bringing attention to this growing threat against the well-being of the next generation of Americans. His foundation provides funding for various research projects aimed at combating the pervasive disease. Through the foundation’s annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night, held this year on May 20th, more than 1,500 high-profile individuals have joined Sugar Ray to raise funds and awareness for Juvenile Diabetes Research.