New York State is facing a growing obesity problem that costs nearly $12 billion each year, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a speech Wednesday to the Association of New York State youth bureaus.

DiNapoli urged state leaders and the State Department of Health to work together to identify strategies to tackle this problem.

DiNapoli also released a report on childhood obesity and its growing costs to New York State, coinciding with the second annual National Food Day.

Obesity-related expenditures for the state’s 1.4 million overweight and obese children are a comparatively small part of the overall picture at $327 million in 2011. However, when left unaddressed, the long term struggle with being overweight becomes harder to address as teens become adults, as demonstrated by the estimated $11.8 billion in state obesity health care costs in 2011.