NEW YORK — The health of American children is mediocre-they move too little and eat too much junk. But there was promising news this week when America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that obesity rates were flat for most children and dropped dramatically for those aged two to five. ‘I am thrilled,” declared Michelle Obama, whose ‘Let’s Move!” campaign has sought to fight childhood obesity. ‘With the participation of kids, parents, and communities in Let’s Move! these last four years, healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm.” Another less prominent report, however, brought more worrying news, not about the physical health of children, but about their mental health.

The Health Care Cost Institute, which pools data from insurers, reported broad spending trends for children covered by private insurance. Employer-sponsored private coverage is America’s single biggest source of health insurance. There are 43m children enrolled in company health plans. The institute examined insurance claims from 2009 to 2012 to illuminate their care and costs. Spending per child rose in every region, among boys and girls, and in all categories of services, from drugs to hospital visits. Spending for boys was higher than for girls. Infants had the […]

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