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In the past few years obesity among children has increased and has now become a major issue in this nation. Over twelve million children in the United States are obese and seven percent of those children are at risk of having type 2 diabetes. Obesity has become a burden to the United States economy and it is costing America $147 billion dollars a year. Are parents to blame for obese and overweight children or is society at fault? Obesity has been around for many years but has always been known to be an adult issue.
An imbalance in caloric metabolism is to blame for obesity; however, this imbalance can be due to an assortment of factors (Childhood Obesity Facts, 2014), not just overeating and a lack of exercise. Because of the prevalence of obesity and its effects on our youth, it is expert opinion that addressing this issue of childhood obesity is more necessary today than ever before. Before it can be addressed, though, biological and environmental factors need to be recognized (Gundersen, Mahatmya, Garasky, Lohman, 2014). Gundersen et al. (2014) explored the idea that there are psychosocial stressors in children’s lives that play a role in obesity.
Obesity is the most distinct medical condition but the most difficult condition to treat. Obesity is the result of calorie imbalance. Obesity is commonly caused by overeating and lack of exercise although there are genetic diseases and hormonal disorders that can cause obesity. When children eat more than they need, the extra calories are stored in fat cells to use for energy later. If this pattern continues over time, they develop more fat cells and may develop obesity.
Today in the United States, more than seventeen percent of all children are obese (Marcus). Obesity in children is an epidemic that has been rising for the past decade. In 1999 and 2000, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “an estimated fifteen percent of American children were overweight, more than three times the amount there were in 1990” (D, Andrew). Many factors play a pivotal role in the rise of obesity, such as environment, lifestyle, and genetics. So many children are obese today because of over consumption of calories and reduced physical activity.
Consequences of childhood and adolescent obesity. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 11(3), S702-S704. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/11/s7/S702.pdf Mason, D. L. (2012). Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care (6 ed.). (M. Iannuzzi, Ed.)
According to Koukourikos, Lavdaniti, and Avramika, childhood obesity is a modern epidemic situation and is the most frequent eating disorder. (128) Obese is means the individual ways more than what is normally expected, which means he/she is extremely overweighed. Children sometimes tend to eat more than what the body needs. Obesity or even being overweight has serious effects on the individual and the society. Both need to take action to examine the causes of this problem and find solutions.
Communities across the country, recognizing obesity as an issue of serious public health concern, are looking for innovative ways to halt the increasing rate of obesity (Davis 260). The rising prevalence of childhood and adult obesity can be explained in part by changes in our environment over the last 30 years; in particular, the unlimited supply of convenient, highly palatable and energy-dense foods, coupled with a lifestyle typified by low physical activity (Farooqui 5-7). Childhood obesity in America is a growing epidemic--because of advertisement of fast food, lack of physical activities, and parental control--that has lasting psychological effects. As a little enlightenment on obesity, overweight and obesity result from an imbalance involving excessive calorie consumption and/or inadequate physical activity (Buchholz 5). The increases in overweight and obesity cut across all ages, racial and ethnic groups, and both genders.
Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States resulting in medical illnesses and shortened life span, action needs to be taken to eat a healthy diet and incorporate exercise into daily life. Among children today, obesity is causing a wide range of health problems that in the past were not seen until adulthood. These include heart disease, respiratory disease, bone fractures and diabetes. There are also psychological effects; obese children are more likely to have low self-esteem, negative body image, eating disorders and depression. Excess weight at a young age has tracked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood.
Obesity is a common problem in today’s society. Adolescents who suffer from obesity may experience medical concerns such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, heart disease or even diabetes. An obese adolescent may experience criticism from peers while finding it difficult to participate to engage in social activities. Considering this fact, one can understand why psycholog... ... middle of paper ... ...eter J. J. Sauer, Albertine J. Oldehinkel, and Ronald P. Stolk Association Between Depressive Symptoms in Childhood and Adolescence and Overweight in Later Life: Review of the Recent Literature. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, Oct 2008; 162: 981 - 988.