Child Obesity

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Kailey O’Brien
Position I Paper
English Composition II

Increase in Child Obesity

Childhood obesity has become a significant problem affecting children ages 6-19 years old. It is the most prevalent current medical problem in the U.S. and other developed countries. Obesity is body weight that is 20% higher than the healthy weight range for a child or adolescent of that height, or as a body fat percentage above 25% in boys and 32% in girls. When a person takes in more calories than the body can burn off, it turns into excess weight. Weight is affected by what you eat, how much you eat, and how active you are. Changes in lifestyle are needed in to decrease childhood obesity and promote healthier children for our future.

The rise in childhood obesity is a result of changes in eating patterns and decreased levels of physical activity. Children in today’s society are lacking understanding and knowledge about weight and health. The current low prices and the easy accessibility to unhealthy, fatty foods seem to make it difficult for people to change their behavior and attitude toward diet and exercise. Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, which increases their lifelong risk of health problems. Not only does it add unwanted health problems, but it can also create emotional and social problems. According to the American Obesity Association “the numbers of affected children have continued to increase since at least the early 1990’s” (Miller, 2004). Other factors that can increase how obese children live are their family members.

Excess weight can be prevented starting at birth. Breastfeeding causes a delay in the introduction of solid foods, which can help prevent obesity. In early childhood, children should be given healthy, low fat snacks and take part in moderate physical activity every day. Television should be limited to no more than seven hours per week, including video games and learning programs. Older children can be taught to...
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