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Childhood Obesity: The Epidemic That Is Effecting Our Youth

Autor:   •  December 9, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,096 Words (5 Pages)  •  596 Views

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Childhood Obesity: The Epidemic that is Effecting Our Youth

The desired topic of choice is that of childhood obesity. It is an epidemic in the United States. Once uncommon, childhood obesity has currently become the number one health issue. Children are our country’s future therefore, it is critical that any issue that affects children should be taken seriously. This is an enormous topic, with various contributing factors, as well as solutions. Obesity in the United States has become a giant problem that needs to be solved or our children’s future will be riddled with unnecessary disease and health complications due to poor health and eating habits.

As high as 33% of children in the United States are considered obese. As a medical issue, obesity is the most common health condition that afflicts Americans, but is the hardest to treat. The term obese is used when a child’s weight is considered 10% higher than the medically recommended weight for age and height. (Deckelbaum, 2001). Weight gain that is unhealthy due to poor diet and lack of exercise can result in death. Obesity’s cost to society annually is estimated to be $100 billion.(Freeman-Fobbs, 2003). Children that are overweight as adolescents are at a higher risk of becoming overweight adults. Causes of obesity include genetic precursors, biological, cultural, and behavioral factors. Obesity is a result of eating more calories that the body uses for fuel. Parents that are obese will have a 50% chance to have children that will be obese.(Robinson, 2003). In the occurrence that there are two parents in the same family are obese, the children in the family will then have an 80% chance of becoming obese. (Robinson, 2003).

There are medical conditions that can cause obesity in children. However, there are less than 1% of cases of childhood obesity that can be attributed by a medically induced condition. (Deckelbaum, 2001). Obesity in children is more often a result of poor eating habits binge eating/over eating, lack of exercise, medication, family history, stressful changes or events, low self esteem and depression.

The risks and complications that are associated with childhood obesity are the increase risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems, diabetes, and trouble sleeping. Childhood obesity is associated with emotional problems. Teens with lower self esteem often have weight issues. The lower self esteem can include depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. There are methods for managing obesity in children. This issue does not have to be an epidemic for children. Education on weight management, nutritional food choices, and regular exercise can resolve some cases of childhood obesity. Counseling and support groups for children is another great step in preventing obesity in children.

Helping to rectify this issue, many schools are slowly changing


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