Body Fat and Eating Disorders Paper

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Body Fat and Eating Disorders Paper

Childhood obesity has become a disturbing national epidemic and has grown considerably in the past two decades. The percentage of children and adolescents who are defined as overweight has more than doubled. About 15% of children and adolescents are now overweight. Obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize but most difficult to treat. Overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating and exercising. In fact, 30% of adult obesity begins in childhood. Obesity accounts for more than 300,000 deaths a year and the annual cost to society for obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion.

Body composition is a term used to describe the different body compartments (lean mass, fat mass, body water and bone mass) that make up a person’s body weight. It is important when studying obesity to be able to measure body composition. Overall body fat is an important indicator of weight related disease such as diabetes and the location of this tissue, is equally, if not more significant. For example, the amount of fat around the abdominal organs, known as visceral fat, is associated with metabolic risk factors such as insulin resistance and high blood pressure and it may be a useful measure for predicting health. It is estimated that the average person gains at least on pound of fat and loses one-half pound of muscle each year beginning at age twenty unless he or she makes a lifestyle change. Excess body fat places you at high risk for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respitory problems and certain cancers, especially of the breast and endometrium (uterus). Obesity is expensive too. The National Institutes of Health estimates that obesity related disease cost the nation approximately $100 billion each year.

Certain developments in U.S. culture and society in recent...
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