Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States. One out of five children in the U.S. are obese. In fact, “Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese ("Obesity rates among," 2011). The childhood obesity rates have steadily risen since 1980 and many children are now suffering from what were once thought of as adult illnesses, such as elevated cholesterol levels, hypertension, arthritis, and diabetes. Several internal and external factors contribute to childhood obesity; however, many people believe that parents are primarily to blame for obese children and adolescents.
Food choices are often made based on convenience and price. Instead of choosing a balanced meal, most people choose processed foods that contain no nutrients. These unhealthy habits are being passed down to young children and are shaping the type of lifestyles they lead. The detrimental state of child obesity is becoming more and more common. The epidemic of child obesity has lead to increasing cases of serious diseases in young children that should not be a concern until they are much older.
Obesity has grown to become an epidemic in the United States. No single solution or strategy can prevent the disease. Sedentary lifestyles of American school children have reached an alarming rate. Greater attention, focus, and preventive measures should be placed on African American and Hispanic children because they have the highest obesity rates. Children from poverty stricken families are also at greater risk for obesity than other socioeconomic groups (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004).
From 1980 to 2004 the percentage of youth who were obese tripled from 7% to 19% in children (6-11 years) and 5% to 17% in adolescents (12-19 years) (“Nihiser”). Approximately one out of every five children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, and this number continues to increase. (http://www.webmd.com/children/guide/obesity-children?print=true). Childhood obesity has both direct and lasting effects on health and well-being. The immediate health effects of obese youth are that they are more likely to develop risk factors for cardiov... ... middle of paper ... ...k factors.
In the recent decades, obesity has grown into a major health issue in the United States within young people. With 31 percent of the United States of children being obese, the United States has become the country with the highest rate of obesity in the world. Obesity is not only found among adults, but it is also now found mainly among children and teenagers. The childhood is a very important period for the initiation of obesity especially in this time. Eating practices that children are taught or learn during childhood affects a person later in their life whether they know or not.
Childhood obesity has become a source of concern for the health of adolescents and children. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines obesity as any child with a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or over the 95th percentile. The trend of childhood obesity in America is overwhelming with an increase of nearly 20 percent in our children and adolescents since 1980 (CDC, 2013). Recent studies have shown childhood obesity is at 17% for 2-19 year olds. Obesity in children is a contributing factor of hypertension, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
“Children whose BMI exceeds 25-30 kg/m2 are classified as overweight- obese”(Jenvey 810). America, this is a nationwide issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nationwide, an estimated thirty two percent of American children ages two to nineteen are overweight, including seventeen who are obese. Childhood obesity is an extraordinary epidemic that can be reduced by parents enforcing restrictions and guidelines on food options by children, informing children of the importance of what they consume, and increasing daily physical activity. Parents are a key factor in a children’s influence or decision on everyday food choices.
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