Child Obesity Is Epidemic

Topics: Nutrition, Obesity, Junk food Pages: 10 (3962 words) Published: August 16, 2012
Child Obesity is Epidemic

Child Obesity is Epidemic

Rosanna Torres Western Governors University WGU student ID#: 000254815


Obesity is defined as an abnormal amount of body fat that causes health problems such as; diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Obesity can be determined measuring the child’s body mass index (BMI) is calculated by the child’s height, weight, and age to determine if you have excess fat. It is known that children who are obese have a greater chance to become obese in adulthood. National surveys have come to the conclusion that children are consuming more than 100 calories per day than ever before. The cause of child obesity does not have only one cause. Obesity happens when people in general are not eating healthy foods and are not physically active. Foods that are high in calories and have no healthy nutrition value are foods that will be stored as fat and will make you gain weight (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011; Elfellahi, Dallèle, Verlhac, Camille, Verma, Arpita; 2006; Paxson, Christina, and Donahue, Elizabeth, and Grisso, Jeanne Ann & Orleans, C. Tracy, 2006; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in America because the rates of child obesity are high, in every three children one is overweight or obese ages 2-19. These rates have been rising over the last three decades because in the 1970s children who were overweight or obese were at a 15 percent and today it has doubled to 30 percent (Paxson, Donahue, Grisso, & Orleans, 2006). At the rate child obesity is rising in America children are having more health problems that will cause premature death; according to (Liquid Candy, 2005) “this may be the first generation of children who live shorter lives than their parents.” Studies indicate that child obesity in America is a growing epidemic because of parents, television and media, and insufficient exercise. Parents influence their children’s eating patterns because they are the main role models in a child’s life. Parent’s food preference is being passed down to their children and which becomes the child’s preference as well. There was a study conducted on parent’s eating habits and the


results were they do not eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily but instead eat fast foods at least once daily (LiveScience Staff, 2009) which is projected to their children’s eating habits. Studies by Birch and Fisher confirm that parents who expose their children with fruits and vegetables will try and eat these foods (Schwartz and Puhl, 2002). In addition, parents are responsible to teach their children at a very young age to eat healthy foods and regulate how much explained by (W.Dietz and L. Stern). Parents are the ones who will determine whether their children are going to grow up obese or not. When children are brought up in household where their parents have bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyles the children have a 33% chance that they will be obese or overweight in their adulthood (Elfellahi, Verlhac,Verma, 2006). Besides parents unhealthy eating habits that are passed down to their children; parents can also show their children emotional eating by giving their children sweets to show how much they love them (Schwartz and Puhl, 2002). Many parents flourish their children to make them happy and give them attention but, instead it is harming them in the long run. This is what is called emotional eating which is learned at a very young age by parents (Teenshealth). For example, a child who is crying is given a candy by the parent to make their child happy but, the child will learn it is a good thing to eat when you are feeling sad, happy, or mad. A study conducted by (Schwartz and Puhl, 2002) made a survey involving adults who recall as a child they were rewarded with foods and are now fighting against eating disorders as adults. In the article of Teenshealth,...
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