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Childhood Obesity

By mamas2010 Mar 12, 2013 1344 Words
Childhood Obesity

Nutrition 225 Online with Dr. Strunk

Work cited page
Books: I used the chapters in this book that focused on obesity in adults, adolescents, and young children. Greatest resource used. 12th edition of Understanding Nutrition by Whitney and Rolfes |

Internet sites: Youth/obesity/facts.htm|||

Childhood Obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 20 percent in 2008. Also the percentage of adolescents aged 12-19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.

These facts are extremely important and childhood obesity should be recognized by all. I feel like if more people are aware of these statistics than more people could help to make a difference. In 2008 more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Currently 25 million United States children and adolescents are overweight or obese. This evidence is proof that childhood obesity and overweight has reached epidemic proportions and is a major public health problem.

Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Some immediate health effects are children and adolescents who are obese are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems like poor self-esteem. Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Obese adolescents are more likely to have pre-diabetes.

Some long-term health effects are children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults. This makes the future adult as risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for any types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate cancer.

Not only do these children and adolescents face these life-threatening conditions but they are often teased by their peers. It deeply saddens me to think an innocent child is judged or discriminated against just because of their size. If more people were informed and educated about this important topic than I imagine they wouldn’t discriminate against any obese or overweight people, instead become more aware and decide what we can do to help our society and community. Many people assume that obesity is caused by overeating and lack of exercise. I believe these are factors but there are many more factors that cause childhood obesity. Genetics and environment play a large role in childhood obesity. When I think of an overweight or obese child I think of the education these children lack when it comes to eating healthy and proper exercise. How are they to really know the benefits of choosing this healthy lifestyle if it isn’t taught? Children need be aware of what foods are healthy for them and what foods have no nutrients and no value.

Adults or parents play the most important role in preventing childhood obesity. If more parents could improve their eating and cooking habits for their families this would help to prevent children from gaining excess weight. I don’t believe many people are aware of the importance of nutrition and choosing foods that are healthy for them. I thought I knew the right foods to eat until I took this nutrition class which helped me to become more informed. I think many parents would benefit from taking a nutrition class because it had defiantly made a difference in my eating and active lifestyle.

I remember my parents being fit and healthy when I was a young girl. They cooked healthy meals for our family using whole grains and extra fruits and vegetables. I can remember a can of soda or an ice cream cone being awarded if chores and homework were completed. I guess this was their way of portion control on junk food. We rarely had soda to drink we always had milk, water, and juice. My parents did their best to keep us active, they would take us swimming, bike riding, and for walks. They enjoyed us playing sports and encouraged us to play sports in school. I didn’t realize until now that my folks were doing the very best they could to raise healthy children.

Statics for childhood obesity would change if parents could make a few lifestyle changes. If our communities and schools could help promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle our children would benefit. Schools play especially an important role because over 95 percent of young people are enrolled in schools. Promotion of physical activity and healthy eating have long has been a fundamental component of the American educational experience, so schools are not being asked to assume new responsibilities. Research has shown that well-designed school programs can effectively promote physical activity, healthy eating, and reductions in television viewing time.

Treatment is available for obese children. The treatment is based on the child’s age and if he or she has any medical conditions. Treatment usually includes changes in the child’s diet and level of physical activity. Treatment can include medications and weight loss surgery. Some severely obese children take the drastic measures to overcome obesity. Bariatric surgery’s increasingly being used in both adults and children. There are many unanswered questions regarding the efficacy of bariatric surgery in adolescents. Should patients be selected for surgery based on age and BMI? Are there unique benefits or risks of surgical weight loss procedures in adolescents compared to adults?

These measures are very drastic and could all be prevented if we could all figure out how to become more involved. The statistics out there are very disturbing! Online I found some programs parents and children can participate in to help prevent childhood obesity. The Children’s Aid Society has a series of Go!Healthy alternatives to help educate families about healthy eating and cooking. Some Go!Healthy programs include: * Go!Kids - a 24-week food and fitness curriculum for toddlers and their parents * Youthmarkets - a program in conjunction with CENYC designed to bring fruits and vegetables to low-income neighborhoods via student-run greenmarkets * Healthy Meals - a set of healthful recipes used to feed 1,500 children every day in our community centers and programs.

In conclusion the obesity rates are rising yearly and this is scary, not only is it a social out caster and looks down upon the health of young children these health risks are extremely bad. Any young child who is obese will most likely be an obese adult with way worse outcomes. This obesity epidemic is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Without help from schools, communities, social networks, healthcare providers, we are not likely to reverse the epidemic. Through leadership, states and communities are showing that obstacles can be overcome, effective strategies can be implemented, and schools can play a strong role in improving the lives of young people through physical activity and healthy eating. The programs available in some cities need to be provided to all communities if we want to see a difference. These programs are helping low income families have fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals available for their families. The internet is a great resource for healthy recipes to cook for your families. Any activity you can include in your children’s daily lives even for just a short amount of time will defiantly make a difference. So let’s all decide to become leaders and take care of our children and young adult’s future after all we depend on them just as much as they depend on us.

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