Childhood Obesity

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Final Project
Vicskeyas Faith Moore
Strayer University
Res/531
June 19, 2011
Dr. Ed Yancey

Topic
Childhood Obesity in the Mid-South is a growing disease.

Description of Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity is defined as children having the condition of being excessively overweight (The American Heritage, 2002). The Centers for Disease Control reports that this country has been struggling with obesity for well over 20 years now and regarding childhood obesity, it is no less daunting.  Data from their surveys comparing the 1970's to the 2000's  show that the prevalence of obesity has increased for children of all ages at least 3 times over to about 20% of our population less than 19 years old (adult obesity approaches almost 35% in some states).  There is an eye-opening depiction of U.S. obesity trends by state and race/ethnicity over the past 4 years.  Obesity appears to be most commonly seen in the African American, Hispanic, and Native American populations and in lower income families (CDC, 2009).

Why this Topic
This topic was chosen because there is an overwhelming increase of children who are suffering from this disease. Obese children are also more likely to become overweight adults. 70% of obese children had at least one Cardiovascular Disease risk factor, and 39% had two or more (Freedman, 2007). This paper will show why childhood obesity has become such an epidemic and what can be done to counter this disease.

Description of Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents in America. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression (The American Heritage, 2002). The Centers for Disease Control reports that this country has been struggling with obesity for well over 20 years now and regarding childhood obesity, it is no less daunting.  Data from their surveys comparing the 1970's to the 2000's  show that the prevalence of obesity has increased for children of all ages at least 3 times over to about 20% of our population less than 19 years old (adult obesity approaches almost 35% in some states).  There is an eye-opening depiction of U.S. obesity trends by state and race/ethnicity over the past 4 years.  Obesity appears to be most commonly seen in the African American, Hispanic, and Native American populations and in lower income families (CDC, 2009).

Childhood obesity is mostly caused by children eating too much and exercising too little (Mayo Clinic, 2010). At many schools kids can have soda, candy and fast food for lunch. They also have fewer opportunities to exercise and play. At home, kids are spending more inactive time in front of a TV, play station or computer. When kids eat out they are surrounded by foods and drink that taste good, but are often unhealthy. Portion sizes are also continuing to increase. Fast food is no longer a treat but a regular meal for many kids. The purpose of my research is to show the factors that contribute to childhood obesity and what can be done to combat childhood obesity.

Problem Statement
If childhood obesity continues to spiral out of control, healthcare costs for obesity related illnesses will triple to $450 million dollars a year. Among U.S. adults (gatekeepers/parents), obesity has ballooned exponentially from forty-six percent to sixty-four percent of the population between 1980 and 2000 (NCOF, 2011). The debilitating effects of obesity are wide ranging and their onset begins early in life. Juvenile diabetes and cardiovascular diseases have been rising steadily since 1980. Some of the debilitating effects of obesity for our youth range from type-2 diabetes,...
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