Childhood obesity is nothing new; however the number of children that are now afflicted with this condition is becoming an alarming trend. Childhood obesity has risen to very alarming numbers in the last few decades (Börnhorst et al., 2015). The significant rise in the number of children afflicted with obesity has resulted in some sources to classify it as a major public health concern due to its regular presence now in pediatric practice (Gilliland, Clark, Kobrzynski & Filler, 2015). Childhood obesity affects thirty four percent of children in the United States, and accounts for forty percent of the health care budget in 2006 (Xu & Xue, 2016 ). A more recent statistic in 2011 reported that childhood obesity cost the health care system 14.3 billion dollars a year, most of which come from public funds (Gollust, Niederdeppe, & Barry, 2013). The longer a child continues to be overweight the more likely it is for that child to remain overweight throughout his or her life. Children are considered to be overweight that have a body mass index (BMI) over the ninety-fifth percentile on growth charts. (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2014). In fact, late adolescent obesity has been associated with an increased risk of having to be on disability throughout their adult life (Reilly & Kelly, 2011). Without even considering any other issues it can easily be seen that overweight children are putting a strain on the healthcare system and potentially an already strained social security system as well. This problem is not isolated to just the United States, but is considered to be a global problem. According to the World Health Organization (2016), “Globally, in 2013 the number ...
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...ead to overeating, which could lead to obesity. It seems to be a vicious cycle that we are creating.
A study done in some European countries showed that a country with higher than average numbers of obese children also had a higher prevalence of eating less fresh fruits and more processed foods, and higher screen times (Börnhorst et al., 2015). Another factor they found was a large difference in the food consumption amount between high and low amounts of screen time and sleep duration (Börnhorst et al., 2015).. Children with longer sleep periods and less screen time ate significantly less food than children who slept less and had more screen time. A conclusion drawn from the study was that increased screen time was directly associated with increased consumption of energy dense, nutrient poor foods, leading to increased incidents of obesity (Börnhorst et al., 2015).
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