Ms. Verona Seymour
Final Draft: Formal Documented Argumentative Essay
November 23rd 2012
Childhood Obesity: Parents dilemma
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal discomforts are some of the many serious health effects that should be the nightmare we all avoid. So why it is that in today’s society we are faced with the alarming fact of half of our population being obese, which are the causative agents to these malicious health problems? It seems as if this is an ongoing problem that may never cease to exist. Why? If the quandary of obesity isn’t realized and address it would not be acknowledged as a problem, therefore it would not be corrected. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, child obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 95 percentile to children of the same sex and age. Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A child is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI. Obesity is rapidly becoming a world wide epidemic, and is starting with our children. Stanford (2001) proposes that the escalation of obesity could be the greatest health threat the world will face in the 21st century. Stanford is highlighting that childhood obesity is a growing health dilemma with a deadly prospect, but who are to blame? In this world today the roles of parents are becoming more demanding than ever before. Our basic knowledge of a parent is one that guides and teaches how to live and survive in this complex world. They are the ones that influence and set out lessons to learn and morals to live by, they are the ones to protect you from harm and detour you from their previous mistakes. Becoming a parent one takes on endless responsibilities and countless blames. However, a parent is only human and can only take full responsibility for certain decisions and behaviors made by their child or children. According to Oxford, a child is defined as a young human being below the age of full development which is 18 and childhood is the period of being a child. Obesity is one of the many hefty misconceptions placed on parents, as we over look the alliance with genetics, environmental and psychological factors. Childhood obesity is in fact highly associated with genetics. A child is in its developmental stage; therefore, genetics plays an accommodating position in the development of obesity. Hills (2011) assume that “recent studies of genetic syndromes of obesity in rodents have provided insights in to the underlying mechanisms that may play a role in energy homoeostasis. In recent years, research has begun to identify human disorders of energy balance that arise from defects in these or related genes . These mutations have been shown to result in morbid obesity in children without the developmental features that commonly accompany recognized syndromes of childhood obesity. Most children probably have some genetic predisposition to obesity, depending on their family history and ethnicity.” There is no denying that genetic alone is the cause for childhood obesity but it is a major fact that it is a large contributor to this chief health hazard. Harvard (2012) remarks “subsequent work on the relationship between the FTO gene, physical activity, and obesity yielded contradictory results. (16-18) To arrive at a more definitive answer, investigators recently combined and re-analyzed the data from 45 studies in adults and 9 studies in children—nearly 240,000 people in all. (19) They found that people who carried the obesity-promoting FTO gene variant had a 23 percent higher risk of obesity than those who did not.” Nonetheless, genetics is a contributing factor, and the reality of it is that it can be controlled by means of healthy eating habits and exercise regiments. However, why should parents be blamed for uncontrollably giving their...