Childhood Obesity

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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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“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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