Today's youth regularly snack on junk foods, watch more television and are less active than their parents were.
So it was less shocking when a new research suggested that today's younger generation would live shorter lives than their parents.
"Diseases such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and joint deterioration - what were once considered 'adult' diseases - are regularly being diagnosed in children, due to the prevalence of obesity," said Jessica Bartfield, weight loss specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System.
"What is particularly tragic is that studies have suggested that obesity in children today may contribute to a 2-5 year decline in their life expectancy, shorter than that of their parents, due to obesity related diseases that are largely preventable," she added.
She said the causes are 'multifactorial, including environment and culture'. Genetics and parental weight status also plays a role.
"If one parent is obese, a child has a 50 percent likelihood of being obese, and if both parents are obese, that skyrockets to 80 percent likelihood," she said.
Research by the Center for Disease Control found that 80 percent of obese children between the ages of 10-15 continue to be obese at age 25.