The Psychological Effects of Childhood Obesity
While sitting at a mall, a person may notice the different sizes of people walking by. Generally speaking there are really tall people, short people, some with small waists and others with large waist. There are small children and large children. The children are what we will be focusing on throughout this paper. One of the growing problems in the United States is childhood obesity. What is the cause? Why is childhood obesity a growing problem? Is it the parents of these children that are neglecting to limit their children’s caloric intake or inability to teach proper eating habits? Or is the fact that children of today tend to be more sedentary? Or even still is it the fault of the child? Another aspect to realize is the psychological effects that may haunt the obese child throughout their lives. Throughout the following paper the facts will prove that not only genes are responsible for obesity of children in the United States. This paper will also look at the psychological effects of childhood obesity and what the prognosis is for childhood obesity in the United States.
The United States faces more than just war in other countries. The facts are the rate of childhood obesity increases every year. This war is directed fully at our future. Parents are the number one advocate against the war on childhood obesity. The facts are childhood obesity can be defined and even blamed on the parents, schools, and cafeteria lunches. Childhood obesity, according to Center for Disease Control, body mass index (BMI) is a measure used to confirm that a child is overweight and obesity and is measured through the height and weight of the child. The CDC growth chart measures the height and weight of children of the same age and sex, which assists in determining whether a child is within the normal range for weight. A BMI at or above the 95th percentile for comparable children of the same age and sex would define an obese child. According to Center for disease control has 17% of children in the United States are overweight or obese and will be the first generation to die before their parents. The psychological effects of childhood obesity are devastating and can continue into adulthood. There are many psychological effects that are linked directly to childhood obesity. Psychological issues that are often found in obese children include low self-esteem, depression, impaired social relationships, obesity stigma, and lack of quality of life (Vander JS, Mitchell ER, 2011) shown the factors of childhood obesity does not only lie in the size of the child. It is heartbreaking to watch a child who is an outcaste around other children of the same age or of any age. Low self-esteem and obese children often times goes hand in hand. Self-esteem according to the National Association for Self-esteem is defined as, “Educators, parents, business and government leaders agree that we need to develop individuals with healthy or high self-esteem characterized by tolerance and respect for others, individuals who accept responsibility for their actions, have integrity, take pride in their accomplishments, who are self-motivated, willing to take risks, capable of handling criticism, loving and lovable, seek the challenge and stimulation of worthwhile and demanding goals, and take command and control of their lives.” Obese children have a disrupted sense of self-esteem (National Association for Self-Esteem). The psychological effects may also cause a child not to excel in school. According to the Mayo Clinic Health system, childhood obesity is often times the cause of anxiety and poor social skills in obese children compared children of healthy normal weights. There has been a link between obese children having outbursts and being disruptive in class, however the other extreme has also been noted that obese children will at times...
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