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childhood obesity

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Childhood Obesity
The incidence of childhood obesity has dramatically increased over the past few decades in the United States. Obesity is causing negative and life changing effects on children’s bodies, lives, and potentially their futures. The number of obese children and adolescents is rising at an alarming rate as a result of changes in society. As the number of obese children rises, treatment options have multiplied and become more available.
The definition of obesity is having excess body fat. The incidence of childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate. Nationally, it has doubled in young children over the past thirty years and quadrupled in adolescents. Locally, more than thirty three percent of Arkansans are overweight, placing Arkansas in the top ten percent of the most obese states. Nationally, the number of younger children, from six to eleven years old, in the United States who are considered to be obese based on the BMI scale (Body Mass Index), which is a measure of body fat based on the ratio of weight and height using a formula of fat to lean body mass, increased from seven percent to almost 18 percent in the year 2012. The percentage of obese adolescents (aged 12 to 19) increased from five to twenty one percent during that time. By the year 2012, over one third of the nation’s youth were considered medically overweight or obese.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the youth of Arkansas and in the United States. There are many health risks and associated dangers that children suffer from as a result of an unhealthy diet and life style. According the Arkansas Department of Health, obesity is among the most serious health problems in the state. Being chronically overweight has proven to ...

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...l, nutritional, physical therapy, and psychology professionals. A joint effort between government agencies, schools, and parents has proven to be necessary to raise the awareness of the need to stop the epidemic of childhood obesity and to provide youth and adolescents an opportunity to grow into healthy adults.
While childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, with Arkansas being one of the top ten states with the most cases of childhood obesity, many treatment options and preventative measures have become available. Public campaigns, government funded initiatives and studies, school wellness programs, and increased awareness of the health risks associated with obesity have all contributed to opportunities for the improved health of the nation’s youth. With improved diets and active lifestyles, the devastating effects of childhood obesity can be reduced.
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