Childhood Obesity

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The topic of children’s health contains a broad spectrum of issues. It can include but is not limited to physical, behavioral, and environmental health. I narrowed my discussion to a topic which includes all three of these factors. I also feel that it is important today and imperative to our future. Children today are our teachers, firefighters and policemen of tomorrow. Childhood obesity is quickly becoming the foremost epidemic in America’s youth. Its effects are much the same as adult obesity and just as concerning. My discussion will include the causes, effects, and prevention of childhood obesity.

According to the CDC obesity is defined as “the condition of an excessively high amount of body fat, or a dispose tissue in relation to lean body mass.” (CDC.gov) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the body mass index is a very practical measure used to determine overweight and obesity. The BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height, age and gender. The BMI is the mostly widely known and accepted method to screen for overweight and obesity in children, and adolescents because it is relatively easy to obtain the height and weight measurements needed to calculate BMI and these measurements are non-invasive. While BMI is an accepted screening tool for the initial assessment of a child’s body fat it is not a diagnostic measure because the BMI is not a direct measure of body fatness. According to the national center for health statistics obesity is defined “as an individual’s weight being 30% or more above what is considered normal by the standard accepted weight and body height.” The term “normal” varies in terms of each individual’s height, age, and gender.

Obesity is a serious health con...

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... problems. It has been proven that children who struggle with being overweight or obese will continue to have these problems throughout their adult lives, and consequently, will deal with the aforementioned related health issues (CDC.gov). These problems can be avoided with a few simple steps.

Clearly childhood obesity is a growing problem, percentages of overweight children are on the rise and these same children will struggle with weight problems as adults. And these statistics will continue to rise at an alarming rate if we don’t take action. It is not only a parent’s job but also our job as a community to teach today’s youth the importance and benefits of a well-balanced, nutritional diet combined with daily exercise/activities. As childhood obesity becomes more and more of a problem in our country we need to ask ourselves what we can do to help solve it.

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