Childhood obesity in the United States has tripled in a generation. But while debates continue over the content of school lunches and the dangers of fast food, we are just beginning to recognize the full extent of the long-term physical, psychological, and social problems that overweight children will endure throughout their lives. Most dramatically, children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, something never before seen in the course of human history. They will face more chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes that will further burden our healthcare system. Here, authors Jacob Warren and K. Bryant Smalley examine the full effects of childhood obesity and offer the provocative message that being overweight in youth is not a disease but the result of poor lifestyle choices. Theirs is a clarion call for parents to have "the talk" with their kids, which medical professionals say is a harder topic to address than sex or drugs. Urgent, timely, and authoritative, Always the Fat Kid delivers a message our society can no longer ignore.