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Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease, and the Importance of Physical Education in Schools Kristal Brandenburg
ENG 122: English Composition II
Instructor Deborah Zeringue
April 8th 2012

Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease, and the Importance of Physical Education in Schools INTRODUCTION
Childhood obesity across the world is increasing rapidly. According to Baker, Olsen, and Sorenson (2007), in the United States, there is no sign that the increases in childhood overweight and obesity are slowing down. According to Rocchini (2011), obesity is the most common nutritional problem among children in both developed and underdeveloped countries. The increasing numbers of children with obesity is so serious is has been labeled an epidemic (Sort, Daeschel, & Amador, 2011). With obesity come many health risks. It is important for people to realize how severe the consequences of obesity are. One risk factor of being obese is heart disease. Hypertension, dyslipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance, and vascular abnormalities are already present in overweight children, and all of these are risk factors for coronary heart disease (Baker, et. al., 2007). Early development of these risk factors from being obese may increase the chances of heart disease in adulthood. Obesity and the risks associated with obesity need more recognition from people because it is important to continue to fight the obesity epidemic. A focus needs to be placed on helping children reach and maintain a healthy weight, and also learn healthy lifestyle habits. One way to help children reach and maintain a healthy weight is to have quality physical education programs in schools worldwide. Quality physical education provides children with the opportunities to be active throughout the day and also spend time in the classroom learning healthy lifestyle habits. Physical activity and education play an important part in influencing children to value physical activity, to choose healthy habits throughout their life, and also helps children reduce and maintain a healthy weight. The claim of this paper is that all schools should be required to provide quality physical education programs for their students in an effort to help fight the obesity epidemic which in turn will help fight heart disease as well. METHODS

Preliminary research helps to select some aspects of the topic to study and to determine if enough, too much, or too little information is available on those aspects of the topic (Sole, 2010 ch.3). The databases used for this research project were ProQuest and EBSCOhost within the Ashford Library, and also government and educational websites. These websites and the Ashford Library have many scholarly journals and research reports that offer useful information and statistics on the topic. Keyword searching was used to find articles for this paper. Keyword searching is probably the most popular search technique people use for searching the Internet, and most Internet search engines retrieve information using keywords (Sole, 2010 ch.5). The main keyword used during the search was childhood obesity, and other words used were heart disease and physical education. Other searches conducted were through Google using the same keywords, which brought up government and educational websites. Using these words brought up many scholarly articles that discuss how childhood obesity is related to heart disease, and also how physical education in schools is beneficial to fighting the obesity epidemic and heart disease. RESULTS

While conducting research, it was found that childhood obesity is related to heart disease in adulthood. According to Rocchini, (2011) “There is strong epidemiologic evidence that obesity in childhood is associated with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis in adulthood.” Epidemiologic refers to the studies of the causes, distribution, and control of diseases in groups of people. Atherosclerosis refers to thickening or hardening of the arteries....
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