Louisiana children who struggle with obesity in their youth are destined to battle weight issues into adulthood. At least that appears to be the consensus of a recent study published in an American Medical Association journal.

Rudy Macklin, director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, says the problem with overweight humans is getting worse in Louisiana, where a trend of the heaviest sector of kids has more than doubled in the past 15 years.

"If they're obese now, whatever habits they've fallen into...bad habits, anyway...they're going to carry those bad habits into adulthood and it's going to really take a toll on our health care system and also the overall health and premature death for these young people,” said Macklin.

As it stands, Louisiana is the fourth most obese state in America. Recent statistics show that 63% of the adults are overweight and their children are not far behind. This epidemic, as some experts have called it, is caused by too many hours of sedentary behavior and not enough physical activity – and schools are a large part of the blame.

"Physical education, when we were in school, was five days a week and we had it for an hour each day. Now, physical education in some schools in this state...they barely see the kids twice a week, and maybe even 30 minutes or less,” said Macklin.

With summer vacation right around the corner, Macklin says parents should encourage their kids to get outside and play. He says children need to be getting around an hour of daily physical activity. Macklin also suggests eliminating fast food.

Childhood obesity can cause severe conditions like high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.