“Obesity” is medically defined as “having a body mass index greater than 30.” A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost 40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese—the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S. These rising obesity rates are especially troubling among children:

● Ages twelve through nineteen: 20.6 percent

● Ages six through eleven: 18.4 percent

● Ages two through five: 13.9 percent

The consequences of the obesity epidemic are tremendous. Accompanied by high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes, the burden of obesity on the U.S. medical system is huge. The cost is estimated at $190 billion per year in weight-related medical bills. Part of this bill will be borne by companies that hire Gen Z‑ers.

Along with the dramatic rise in obesity is an increase in type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune condition which destroys the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. Patients with type 1 diabetes are required to take insulin for the remainder of their lives. Type 2 diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called “hyperglycemia.” Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 was previously called “adult onset diabetes,” but with new diagnoses at ever-younger ages, the term was replaced.