Obesity is defined as having a body mass index in excess of the 95th percentile. In the United States obesity, and in particular childhood obesity, is rising at alarming rates, creating a population at a higher risk for heart disease, type II diabetes, and other ailments. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults, and also to suffer the consequences of obesity beginning at an earlier age.
You can find good information at the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic (use the menu on the left side of the page), the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or the American Medical Association.
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If you are interested in looking at systematic reviews on the subject of childhood obesity you can find systhesis reviews contributing to the USDA's dietary guidelines for Americans here; www.nutritionevidencelibrary.gov