Childhood Obesity is an Epidemic

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Today, approximately 25 percent of children and teenagers are obese and the number is on the rise. Since the 1960’s childhood obesity has increased by 54 percent in children ages six to eleven. In children twelve to seventeen it has increased by 39 percent. (Silberstein, 1) Childhood obesity is so prevalent among these age groups that it has reached epidemic proportions.

One cause of childhood obesity is genetics. Children who have parents or siblings who are overweight have an increased risk of becoming obese themselves. Genetics accounts for approximately 25 percent to 40 percent to childhood obesity. (Causes of Obesity, 2) Although genetics is a significant factor, diet and lifestyle also play an important role in the increase of childhood obesity.

Consumption of soft drinks has an impact on childhood obesity. According to France Ellisle from France’s Institute of Health and Medical Research, there is a direct connection between weight gain and sugar. The average adolescent is consuming about fifteen to twenty teaspoons of sugar daily. (Scott, 2) Along with the sugar children are eating more and more fast food. The sit down dinner has come to an end. In most families both parents work fulltime leaving little time to prepare healthy meals. Parents look for food that is quick, cheap and satisfies the child. The problem with fast food is that has very little nutritious value and is often high in fat and salt content, with a good measure of preservative thrown in....

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