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Obesity In Children: Adverse Affects Of Changing Lifestyles

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Obesity is a chronic, metabolic disease caused by multiple and complex factors, including increased calorie intake, decreased physical activity and genetic influences. The exact level of obesity is determined by reference to the Body Mass Index (BMI). A score of 30+ on the BMI indicates obesity. A score of 40 indicates severe obesity. Caused by a complex variety of factors, obesity is a major risk factor for serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer Childhood obesity has been rising at the same rate as obesity in adults. It is estimated that approximately 1-25% of children between the ages of 6 to 12 are overweight (Strauss 2845-2848). About 80 percent of overweight teenagers will remain overweight as adults. The increase in adolescent obesity (about 40 percent during the last 15 years) will have serious consequences in the future. Diseases Caused By Obesity: Being overweight predisposes a child to heart disease, gallstones, adult onset diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and full-blown obesity later in life. Obese children have more problems and upper respiratory diseases. And that is only one side of the story. They often suffer major social and psychological problems. The rapid increase of serious depression, eating disorders, drug use, and suicide among teenagers is frightening (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1st Jan 2001, Obesity In Children And Teens, http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/79.htm). Factors Causing Obesity: There are many underlying factors that may contribute to childhood obesity including genetics, diet, physical inactivity, psychological problems, and other health issues but one of the major factors contribut...

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...d those over age 45, is being diagnosed more often in children and adolescents. The CDC estimate that overweight and physical inactivity account for more than 300,000 premature deaths each year in the U.S., second only to tobacco-related deaths. This leaves us with the conclusion that childhood obesity should be controlled and we being supreme beings should not become a target of negative impacts of technology and sedentary lifestyles.

Works Cited

Strauss RS, Pollack HA. Epidemic increase in childhood overweight, 1986-1998. Journal of the American Medical Association 2001:286(22), pp. 2845-2848.

http://www.county.oxford.on.ca/healthservices/ocbh/pdf/childhood_obesity_handout.pdf

http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/79.htm http://www.lisadunningmft.com/Lisa_Dunning_Hermosa_Beach_family_therapist_cause s_obesity_children_article.htm
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