Childhood Obesity in America

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, Body mass index Pages: 4 (1273 words) Published: February 27, 2012
There is an epidemic that is plaguing the children of the United States of America. That epidemic is known as childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is a major challenge for the nation that threatens the immediate health of our children (Nyberg, Burns and Parker, 2009, pp5). We all have to take a stand on this issue before it gets any worse than it already is. Approximately, one out of every six American children is considered obese (Nyberg, Burns and Parker, 2009, pp7). There are a lot of underlining reasons that can result in childhood obesity. One of the main factors of childhood obesity is genetics or heredity. Obesity amongst the parents produces a greater likelihood of producing an overweight or obese child. Therefore, we could all do our best by setting a good example for our children. A good way to set a good example is by getting and staying in shape. If we make better and healthier choices then our children will follow that example.

What is obesity? Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat or adiposity. Adiposity is calculated by using body mass index. Body mass index measures a person’s weight in kilograms then divided by the square of that person’s height in meters (Obesity, 2006). Childhood obesity occurs when a child is above the normal weight for his or her age and height (Mayo Clinic, 2010). Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last thirty years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). It is outstanding at this rate if it triples again in thirty years more than half the children in America will be overweight. So we have to put a stop to it now before it gets totally out of hand.

However, genetics can play a big role in childhood obesity. If at least one parent is obese it increases the child’s chances of becoming obese themselves (Deckelbaum, 2001). A child’s first experiences with food are made by the parents. Therefore, it can be extremely easy to over feed our children when they are young. Our children also learn from...
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