While exploring possible health issues and a population to focus on for my project, I was overwhelmed by the number of issues we are faced with everyday. I narrowed the search down to obesity and the population I would like to focus on is the adolescents. Health People 2010 identified overweight and obesity as one of the top ten leading health indicators that needs serious attention. Obesity has reached epidemic levels globally; being a significant threat to our own nation’s health. Adolescent obesity rates have more than tripled, as the adult obesity rate has doubled since 1980’s (Trust for America's Health, 2011a).
The present public health problem has become a great public concern and the future of these children and future adults has also been brought to attention. For example, "as obese children are more than likely to become obese adults, they are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and several cancers" (Gollust, 2014). Research has also indicated that the current generation of children are on track to have shorter lives than their parents because of increasing rates of obesity (Gollust, 2014). This public health issue does not only effect individuals but the national as a whole in regards to the health care system costs. Obesity in children "costs the health care system $14 billion per year, much which comes from public funds" (Glanz, 2008).
Childhood obesity is a serious and common disease that is becoming more and more popular for children to be obese. I will make some clarifications on these issues and give some reasoning behind it. In the United States, more than one-third of adolescents are overweight or obese (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), (National Center for Health Statistics. (2010)). Obesity is classified by an excess amount of fat and a weight 20 percent above normal bodyweight (National Center for Obesity at a young age can be very dangerous (2010).
Most of the increased risk is due to cardiovascular issues. According to Salinsky & Scott, almost 80 percent of obese adults have diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, high blood cholesterol levels, or osteoarthritis. High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions related to obesity in men and women. Obese men and women are more than twice as likely to hav... ... middle of paper ... ...have an appreciable effect in reversing this deadly trend. Given that the obesity epidemic is associated with deeply ingrained societal structures, policymaking on this issue is not likely to be limited to a single piece of legislation or a single program.
They have always been a believer of prevention as a key to longevity (L.Dobbins, Dec 2007). Obesity is considered to be a problem because it is a risk factor for many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. The New Zealand health strategy has two objectives that relate directly to obesity, to improve nutrition and to increase physical activity (Reuters, Feb. 15 2008). Experts and the media are feeding us with information on this ‘,obesity epidemic’, but is there actually a problem? An epidemic is the occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community or region during a given time period.
Thus, because of the constant increase of percentage of people with obesity, the American Medical Association (AMA) proposed in June 18, 2013 to classify obesity as a disease. Their argument was that obesity increases the risks of countless health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension etc. Moreover, it increases morbidity and mortality. By considering obesity as a disease, their aim was to maximize researches and funding, which will focus on obesity from different medical and health approach levels. Their idea of classifying obesity as a disease was in accordance with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s declaration of 1995.
A child with a BMI over 25.0 kg/m 2 is measured as overweight (Survey on Childhood Obesity, 2014). A BMI over 30.0kg/m 2 is reflected obese, and a BMI over 40 is gloomy obesity (Survey on Childhood Obesity, 2014). “An estimated 80% of overweight teenagers continue to be obese into parenthood, so the consequences of childhood obesity on the population’s health are huge” (Survey on childhood obesity, 2014). Obesity is a long-lasting condition that grows as a result of inherited, behavior and environmental factors. Social problems are the cause for many other problems.
The rise of obesity in the United States has posed health and financial problems for this country that need to be dealt with. It is said that an obesity epidemic is sweeping the country and that the numbers are astronomical. Approximately 31% of all adults and 15% of children, ages 6-19 are obese. Obesity is also severe in a variety of ethnic groups. For example, 50% of non-Hispanic black women are obese.
The realization of this important link is the first step in finding a solution to the growing epidemic of child obesity. A person is considered obese or suffering from obesity when their weight is 20 percent (25 % in women) or more over the maximum desirable weight for their height. When a person is more than 100 pounds overweight, it is considered to be a potentially fatal condition, also known as morbid obesity. Rates of obesity are climbing, the percentage of children and young adolescents who are obese have doubled in the last twenty years. Obesity increases a person’s risk of numerous illnesses and death due to diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and kidney and gallbladder disorders.
Millions of people die each year from being overweight. It is said that in 2015 more than 700 million people will be obese. (NCD Alliance) What most people don’t realize is that if you are obese as a child, you have a higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood. In an article called “The Fast Food and Obesity Link: Consumption Patterns and Severity of Obesity” researchers talk about the recent studies revolving around obesity and how it affect us. Recent studies have shown that these increases in extreme obesity rates are not specific to a certain population, but are rather an integral part of the weight distribution in the USA, and the more extreme the obesity, the higher the rate of growth .