Childhood Obesity in America

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Controlling Childhood Obesity in America
Jessica Spencer
English 102
Dr. Grimes
1 May 2006
Thesis statement: Childhood obesity in American can be controlled if a healthy lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating can be incorporated into each child’s day. I. Childhood obesity in America
A. Growing epidemic
1. Statistics
2. Problems
3. Define epidemic
B. Advertisements
1. Fast food
2. Sesame Street
3. Groups
II. Safety issues
A. Safety seats
1. Statistics
2. Price
B. Junk food/fast food
1. Trans fat
2. Portion sizes
III. Health
A. Body mass index (BMI)
1. Accurate/not
2. School system
Spencer i
3. Psychological effects
a) Depression
b) Stress
c) Low self esteem
4. Physical effects
a) Diabetes
b) High blood pressure
c) Asthma, etc
IV. Activities
A. Sedentary lifestyles
1. Exercise
2. Television
3. Computers
4. Video Games
B. Environment
V. Genetics
A. Leptin
B. Cortizol
C. Hyperthyroidism
VI. Argument - not genetic linked
A. Dr. Aylesworth
B. Specific gene
VII. Controlling
Spencer ii
A. Exercise
B. Lifestyle change
C. Food
D. Who?
1. Parents
2. Churches
3. Schools
4. Communities
5. Government
Spencer iii
Controlling Childhood Obesity in America
America is now filled with children who are overweight or medically obese. According to the American Obesity Association, obesity is close to passing smoking as the number one cause of preventable death (par. 2). Nine million American children over the age of six (including teenagers) are overweight or obese (par. 4). According to Demian McLean, obesity in children has doubled in the United States for children ages 2 to 5, and has tripled in children ages 6 to 11 in the past 30 years (par. 6). A child with a BMI over 85 percent is considered overweight and someone with a BMI over 95 percent is at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related diseases (Weiss, par. 6). “Obesity is clinically diagnosed as greater than 90th percentile for weight for height; or greater than or equal to the 95th percentile Body Mass Index (BMI), age and sex specific” (par. 12). According to Eric Peters, ten percent of the quarter of overweight American preschoolers are considered medically obese and have a much greater risk of developing dangerous illnesses (par. 5). It is mind boggling to think about how parents try to protect their children from outside risks but they do not seem too concerned when their child is visibly overweight. Childhood obesity is becoming a rapidly progressing epidemic everyday. Karen Karaszkiewicz states that there are several factors that contribute to obesity in children, but at the most basic level, weight gain is caused by either increases in calorie intake or by decreases in physical activity (par. 8). Many children are slightly overweight because of the way that their bodies are maturing but health officials still consider them obese. With all of the health issues that come along with being obese, children should be taught at an early age about the benefits of eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle. If parents would teach their children healthy Spencer 1

habits by following that advice themselves, childhood obesity definitely would not be as big a problem as it is today; otherwise, the future generations will be growing larger than the present. There are many other theories as to what contributes to obesity, such as genetics, the environment, too much television, or video games. According to the Surgeon General, 43% of adolescents watch more than 2 hours of television each day (par. 4). A few of the physically life threatening illnesses are type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Depression and low-self esteem are the mental threats. Childhood obesity in American can be controlled if a healthy lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating can be incorporated into each child’s day. In America, obesity has become a growing epidemic. According to Marian-Webster dictionary, an...
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