The National Child Obesity Epidemic

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In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled. The pervasiveness of obesity has increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 20% in 2014 among children aged 6 to 11. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 increased from 5.0% to 18.1% during the same 30-year period. With that said, America is experiencing a very serious health issue concerning its youth. Obesity results from an imbalance involving excessive calorie consumption and/or inadequate physical activity. In addition, obesity is mediated by genetic, behavioral, cultural, and environmental factors. The health impact from childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects, negative consequences that include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and mental health problems. There are lots of reasons why childhood obesity in America is on the rise. Doctors agree that there are two primary factors in creating obese children: children and teenagers adhering to unhealthy eating habits and getting less and less exercise on a daily basis. Undoubtedly, the mixture of fast food diets along with sedentary lifestyles is creating a generation of children who are facing a serious health crisis.

Children who are obese also must confront the many psychological issues that being overweight creates. Overweight children often have low self-esteem, which is made worse when they are unable to participate in normal activities such as sports or on the playground. Teen eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia develop in response to feelings of body inadequacy. Obese children are teased, bullied and made to feel inferior on a number of levels. Additionally, children and adolescents who are obese are also at greater risk for sleep apnea and bone and joint p...

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...ed for the entire family with parents role-modeling good eating habits. Children should be encouraged to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and less fast-food and processed food that is high in fat, calories, sugar and salt--the smart choice to a healthier America!

Works Cited

Winston, Craig, MPH, Phd, RD, “Child Obesity in America.” Vegetarian-nutrition December 2013.

Tauber, Maithe and Jouret, Beatrice, “Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence.” Karger April 2012: 91-95

Carmona, Richard H., M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., “The Obesity Crisis in America.” Office of the United States Surgeon General July 2014.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006-2014.

Rouse, James, “Child Obesity in America: Taking Care of our Children.” Help Cure Child Obesity 2009.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “Your Adolescent.” Harper Collins 2009.
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