Children and Obesity

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Children and Obesity
Lisa Barber
EH 1020
James Fleming
November 29, 2012

Abstract
Childhood obesity affects many children from many different walks of life. The harmful effects can be physical as well as emotional and can continue on into adulthood. There are many factors that go into how children in the United States and other countries are becoming overweight at such an alarming rate. The two major factors are inactivity at school and at home and poor eating habits that come from a very busy and fast pace of life. Parents need to be concerned about the health of their children. There are so many things that can be done to combat childhood obesity. Just making a few simple lifestyle changes can put children on the right path to a happy and healthy long life.

Lisa Barber
James Fleming
EH 1020
November 29, 2012

Children and Obesity
Obesity in children has become a major epidemic in this country and many other countries around the world. Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat (WebMD, 2012). The statistics on childhood obesity are increasing at a very fast pace. Obesity has many health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood. Obesity in a child can increase the risk of premature death in adulthood. Understanding obesity and making parents aware of the problem will hopefully slow the progression of the epidemic. Obese children need to reduce their weight because the long term effect will not only be physical, but emotional as well. A Review of the Literature

There are many different factors that contribute to a child becoming obese. The first step to the problem is to understand what obese means. Obesity is when a person has too much body fat for their size. Body fat is usually measured by body mass index or BMI (WebMD, 2012). There are several contributing factors that go into how people, especially children become obese. The Issues

Children normally gain weight as they grow, but extra weight can lead to many health risks. These health risks used to be confined to adults and are now starting to show-up in children. Obese children can develop serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. These conditions often carried over into adulthood (CDC, 2012). If left untreated, obese children have a greater risk of social and psychological problems. They can be bullied at school by normal weight children. They can become depressed and have low self-esteem (CDC, 2012). They become isolated and are very lonely from having no friends. It is also possible to develop learning problems if the child does not wish to participate in school activities and in the classroom. These issues can have very devastating effects on children and there are so many factors that go into how a child becomes obese. Causes

Children today are eating fast food every day. The children who consume fast foods are consuming more fats, sugars, and carbohydrates than their bodies need. They consume, on the average, 187 more calories and these extra calories can add up to an additional six pounds a year. Studies have also found that the highest fast-food consumptions were found in youngsters with higher household incomes (CBSNews, 2012). This high fast-food consumption is only one of the contributing factors to obesity in children.

Another factor is inactivity in children. Children today do not get enough exercise. One reason children are not getting enough exercise is due to budget problems in schools. Physical education programs are being cut every day to help balance budgets. Many schools are under pressure to improve testing scores, so they are eliminating physical education and putting more focus on academics (Huffington Post Education, 2012). When it comes to physical education, there are no requirements that schools have to adhere to, so states are losing the means and are not able to give children the required physical activity that they need to keep...
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