Childhood Obesity Essay

Childhood Obesity Essay

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Childhood obesity is an important issue because of the staggering proportions that
this disease has reached in the past few years. Certain genetic factors paired with
changing lifestyles and culture has produced kids (and adults) who are generally not as
healthy as people were just a few decades ago. Widespread obesity has been the extreme
result of these changes.

I chose this topic because I have worked with children all of my life. I plan to
continue my work with children in the future, possibly in an academic administration
setting. Because schools are seen as an important player in the battle with childhood
obesity, it is important that educators are aware of the health risks and that they learn
what they can do to change the situation.

The Center for Disease Control Website distinguishes between the terms
overweight and obesity. The term overweight refers to a person with a weight that is
high compared to others his same height and technically has nothing to do with an
individual’s amount of body fat. For example someone could have a higher weight due
to having lots of muscle mass (Defining). In consideration of this, one source points out
that it is probably more accurate to say that someone is overfat when referring to a
condition of having too much body fat (Insel and Roth, 237).

Obesity on the other hand is defined as “an excessively high amount of body
fat…in relation to lean body mass” (Defining).

The prevalence of obesity in America rose 11 percentage points between 1991
and 2003, especially among African-Americans and young Mexican-Americans (James).

Another study was conducted comparing the time period of 1988-1994 to 19992000.
Between these two periods, the per...


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288.14 (9 Oct. 2002). 22 Mar. 2004 full/288/14/1728>.
Smith, J. Clinton. Understanding Childhood Obesity. Jackson, Miss.: University Press
of Mississippi, 1999. 23 Mar. 2004 Details.aspx>.

“Tulane University Expert Available to Comment on U.S. Obesity Epidemic.” Ascribe &
Fitness News Service (12 Aug. 2002). 22 Mar. 2004 unc.edu/cgi-bin/external_database_auth?A=P|F=Y|ID=136|REL=HSL|URL=
http://www.nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?rsrc=2>.

“U.S. Obesity Epidemic Converges With Rise in Adult-Onset Diabetes Among
Children, Says Pediatric Professor.” Ascribe Health & Fitness News Service (17
May 2001). 22 Mar. 2004 database_auth?A=P|F=Y|ID=136|REL=HSL|URL=http://www.nclive.org/cgi-bin/
nclsm?rsrc=2>.


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