The Childhood Obesity Epidemic

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In today's modern era, the prevalence of childhood obesity is ubiquitous. It is an epidemic plaguing the lives of many young children and adolescent worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014), in the United States, close to 17% (or 12.5 million) of all children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese (CDC, 2014). Furthermore, the American Heart Association (2013) stated that "childhood obesity is now the No.1 health concern among parents in the United States topping drug abuse and smoking" (AHA, 2013, para. 1). This societal problem needs prioritization immediately. Nevertheless, as obesity continues to threaten America's youth, Leaders worldwide must educate children in regards to the deteriorating nature of obesity, its long-term health effects, and offer alternative solutions to reduce the risk of morbid obesity. Obesity is a disease, and understanding the deteriorating nature of childhood obesity is the initiatory step in taking preventative action against the obesity epidemic. Upon further examination, the World Health Organization (2014) defines overweight and obesity as the ''abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health'' (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014). In simplest terms, overweight refers to the "excess weight", and obesity refers to "excess fat" in the human physical structure. In fact, according to the Prevalence of Obesity in the United States surveyed between 2009-2010, statistics revealed that 12.1 % of children age 2-5 are obese, an alarming increase of 18.0 % of children age 6-9 are obese, and it continued to soar to 18.4% of children age 12-19 years who are obese (WHO, 2013). Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014)... ... middle of paper ... ...Retrieved 17 May 2014, from http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2015190,00.html Obama, M. (2009). Let's Move! Letsmove.gov. Retrieved 11 May 2014, from http://letsmove.gov/ Popkin, B. (2013). Fast food not the major cause of rising childhood obesity rates, study finds || UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Sph.unc.edu. Retrieved 17 May 2014, from http://sph.unc.edu/sph-news/fast-food-not-the-major-cause-of-rising-childhood-obesity-rates-study-finds/ Sciarani, S. (2010). Morbid Childhood Obesity: The pressing need to expand statutory definitions of child neglect. Thomas Jefferson Law Review, 32(2), 313-338. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database. World Health Organization, (2014). Childhood overweight and obesity. [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood_what/en/ [Accessed 9 May. 2014].

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