Childhood Obesity

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Childhood obesity is increasingly becoming a major problem of Public Health in developing countries, particularly in Canada and the United States. Lack of physical activity, poor nutritional choices, easily accessible fast foods and the built environment are all seen as factors that contribute greatly to childhood obesity. Individuals who are obese have increased risk of developing high blood pressure, impaired glucose function and may sometimes fall victims to physical and psychological abuse (Ludwig, Peterson & Gortmaker, 2001). In Canada, the prevalence rate of obesity has risen predominantly among children and adolescents (Roberts, Shields, De Groh, Aziz & Gilbert, 2012). An estimated 19.8% within the age groups of 5 to 17 years were classified as obese or overweight in a recent Canadian health measure survey (Roberts, Shields, De Groh, Aziz & Gilbert, 2012). However, the prevalence of obesity compared to girls was three times higher in boys. (Roberts et al, 2012). In the United State, 25% of children are classed as overweight, while 11% are believed to be obese (Ludwig et al, 2001). Furthermore, excessive ingestion of soft drinks has been found to negatively affect the rate of obesity with the odds of becoming obese being 1.6 times higher per every soft drink among children (Ludwig, et al, 2001). While there is popular support for policies such as regulating food advertising to children and implementing nutrition base policies in schools, it is important to consider whether there is any empirical evidence that these policies could be effective at getting the desired outcome. What does the empirical evidence suggest and will be enough to address the issue of childhood obesity. This paper focuses on two different a...

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Ludwig, D. S., Peterson, K. E., & Gortmaker, S. L. (2001). Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: A prospective observational analysis. The Lancet, 357, 505-508.

Roberts, K. C., Shields, M., De Groh, M., Aziz, A., & Gilbert, J. (2012). Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: Results from the 2009 t0 2011 Canadian health measures survey. Health Reports, 23 (3),

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2012). Our Health Our Future – A National Dialogue on Healthy Weights Dialogue Report. Retrieved from
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