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Childhood Obesity in the United States

Literature Review

Description of Obesity Problem

Childhood obesity is an increasing problem here in the United States. According to Schuab and Marian (2011) “Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions” (P.553). The prevalence of child obesity and overweight has increased over the last 30 years all over the United States, becoming one of the biggest public health challenges (Moreno, Johnson-Shelton, & Boles, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to give a background of the obesity epidemic, a review of current policy, and make a policy recommendation.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about “17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese” (Moreno et al., 2013 P.157). “Surveys administered in 1976-1980 and 2007-2008 show that the prevalence of obesity has changed from 6.5% to 19.6% among children 6-11 years old age and from 5.0% to 18.1% for those aged 12-19 years (Moreno et al., 2013 P.157).

The health of the nation’s youth has been under scrutiny lately due to recent reports that are showing an increase in average body mass index (BMI), poor physical fitness, and elevations in blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipids (Eagle, Gurm, Goldberg, DuRussel-Weston, Kline-Rogers, Palma-Davis, Aaronson, Fitzgerald, Mitchell, Rogers, Breunger, Jackson, and Eagle 2010). Eagle et al. (2010) Attribute the decrease in health to “fast food, lack of physical activity due to increased TV and computer screen time, and there is also an expanding appreciation for an inherited basis for childhood obesity” (P.1185). Sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) account for on average 159 calories daily and an average of 9 tablespoons of added sugar daily (Briefel, Wilson, Cabili, & Hedley Dodd, 2013). ...

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...ading, Writing, and Obesity America’s Failing Grade in School Nutrition and Physical Education. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 26(5), 553–564. doi:10.1177/0884533611416820

Taber DR, Chriqui JF, Powell L, & Chaloupka FJ. (2013). Association between state laws governing school meal nutrition content and student weight status: Implications for new usda school meal standards. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(6), 513–519. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.399

Tanaka, N., & Miyoshi, M. (2012). School lunch program for health promotion among children in Japan. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 21(1), 155–158.

Williamson, D. A., Han, H., Johnson, W. D., Martin, C. K., & Newton, R. L. (2013). Modification of the school cafeteria environment can impact childhood nutrition. Results from the Wise Mind and LA Health studies. Appetite, 61, 77–84. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.11.002
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