Childhood Obesity

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Spreading the Cure for Childhood Obesity

Alyssa Herold

Kaplan University



The purpose of this paper is to discuss the increased amount of children suffering from obesity and why it is a major health concern in the United States. It will explain in detail what childhood obesity is, the important contributing factors which cause the condition, and what types of preventative actions can be implemented into schools and at home. The overall conclusion is that this can be solved with education, increasing physical activity and developing nutritional programs at a young age.  


Spreading the Cure for Childhood Obesity

Rising rates of childhood obesity threaten the economic and fiscal health of the nation. Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled since 1980 and almost one-third of children over 2 years or age, are already considered overweight and obese. The fundamental reason children suffer from obesity is because the imbalance of calories consumed and calories expended on physical activity. Simultaneous television & video time, advertisement of fast food and poor eating habits, and lack of parental control equals childhood obesity are all validating risk factors for alarmingly high rising health care costs, as well as sociological and physiological development issues in our youth. However, with the development of nutrition and health related programs at home, school, and in our community; we as a community, parents, educators, can get our children back on the right track.

Childhood obesity has skyrocketed in the past three decades and particularly  
It is becoming troublesome on their future. This problem begins when a child is above the average weight based on their current height and age. A child suffering from obesity is at risk increased health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression, as they age. (Mayo Clinic, 2012). As the Mayo Clinic states, not all children carrying extra weight are considered overweight or obese. Body fat can be carried differently per each child as he/she develops and grows; therefore consulting a doctor to see if they are within a healthy body mass index (BMI) range is necessary.

Vicious factors can influence the likelihood of child’s becoming overweight. Typically obesity is defined as more than 20 percent above the ideal body weight based on a particular height and age. Through dieting alone, 80 percent of the loss is from fatty tissue and 20 percent is from muscle when losing weight. Once an adolescent is able to meet their goal, regular exercise becomes essential in maintaining their desired weight.

There are many important factors which contribute to the concern of childhood obesity, one of which being the increase in hours per day children spend watching television. Children 8-18 years of age spend on average approximately seven and a half hours of their day revolved around some type of social media. (CDC, 2012) Statistics show that four and a half of those hours have been spent in front of a television. (CDC, 2012). The reason this has become a contributing factor, is that this is valuable time spent away from physical activities which leads to more frequent snacking and eating; as well as a decrease in physical activity and energy. In 1990, the Children’s Television Act (CTA) was developed to increase the amount of educational and informational programming for children available on television. (Children’s Educational Television, 2011) This core programming indicates that for children 16 years and under, they will receive at least 30 minutes in length, between 7:00 a.m. and 10 p.m., a regular weekly scheduled programming that will meet their social/emotional needs as well as intellectual/cognitive needs. Broadcasters and Cable Operators can no longer address website...
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