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Childhood Obesity

By ptkando Mar 31, 2013 2392 Words
Childhood Obesity
America's childhood obesity rate is at an all time high. Many adolescents are failing the standard for healthy eating habits, which is the reason for their obesity. As you may know, an excessive amount of saturated fat in a diet will lead to weight gain. The amount of overweight children aged 6 to 11 years has nearly tripled in the past 30 years, going from 7% to a shocking 18.8% (Krisberg). Obese children often struggle with physiological troubles, such as low self-esteem and depression, due to their looks. Social problems also occur from the lack of acceptance from the overweight child’s friends. Childhood obesity is not only caused by not eating healthy but several other problems associated with existing medical conditions and genetics. It is essential for children to eat healthy, exercise and keep their body in mind. Currently there has been a rise in childhood obesity, and the numbers are only going higher. One reason being is the lack of activity. Mainly a habit of television viewing, the absence of physical liveliness, and inert exercise might cause obesity in offsprings. Rigorous testing in South Carolina showed that obese children participated drastically less in light and heavy physical activity compared to the nonobese children. A nationwide study in the USA resulted that the most overweight youngsters participated in the most TV viewing and the least amount of heart pumping activities (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig). The most controversial topic of obesity is television viewing. Not only known to remove time from physical work, watching TV drastically increase the amount of energy consumed. Reason being is that most kids not only sit there and view a screen but are chowing down sweets and unhealthy snacks (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig). Children of the older generations didn't have this problem due to the fact of less TV shows and channels. Another cause of the rising obesity levels is that students are not getting enough physical education at their schools. Not only is it that the kids are missing the physical activity, they are also missing the importance of an active lifestyle and the education they don’t absorb (Krisberg). Unfortunately, as the weight drops, our minds create strong attractions to food and tend to become more agitated by the workouts. We also tend to attack ourselves for not sticking to the diets and plans created for ourselves, and also lose sight of the rewards. Mainly caused over time, our bodies certainly slow down the metabolism process and tries to compensate the lost calories by holding on to any it gets (Freeman). Goals should be set and followed, to insure that you can achieve the healthy weight you are going after. Obese children simply have to get up and get active in order to overcome the problem that has been with them their whole life. Not only the lack of activity, but many medical concerns contribute to childhood obesity. In the simplest terms, obesity develops when an individual consumes more calories than his/her body uses up. Another reason for being obese comes from your parents being “big.” And if one of the parents are “large” then the child has a fifty percent chance of obese; however, if both parents are overweight then the child has an eighty percent of being large too. Despite that some medical dysfunctions cause obesity, the truth is that with all physical problems, only about one percent cause obesity (“Obesity”). Studies have determined that child obesity amounts have risen due to many elements, such as lack of physical activity, rare access to healthy foods, higher amounts of electronic use,and less family time which in-definitely leads to unhealthy, high caloric foods to be incorporated into meals (Krisberg). Compared to kids without medical problems, it is very hard for some of these individuals to lose the weight. With unfortunate medical complications, these kids need guidance from professional doctors to aid in their goals of weight loss. Yet another cause of our childhood epidemic lies within our nations food. Fast food is considerably the largest cause of obesity. One of the largest reasons of childhood obesity lie within our fast food chains, and in just the USA alone there are 170,000 unhealthy fast food restaurants. The reason for them being so successful is 12.7 billion US dollars spent on the vast marketing campaigns that are precisely pointed at the youth of our nation and their parents. With games, toys, movies, collectables, and clothing that are tied in with famous brand names, the advertising companies directly attack the kids with these “goodies” of such. On the other hand, in 1999, just to show a little comparison, the advertising expense for the US National Cancer Institute’s famous “5-A-Day” programme to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables was only 1.1 million US dollars (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig). Being consumed at an accelerated rate, soft drinks have been the center of attention for many research studies. When the results finally came in from the lab it showed that the energy taken in by young teens who indulge in soft drinks were 10% higher than the teens who drink healthy alternatives such as water (Ebbeling). When I was in the struggle to lose weight, I turned over all soft drinks and juices for nothing but water. It’s the only drink that works. Additionally, our schools play a major role in what our children consume, and one other problem is the current school rules concerning food are outdated. Currently, the guidelines are concerned over sugar content, but completely avoid calories, saturated fat and sodium. For example, Wootan said, “the guidelines allow Snickers bars, but not Twizzlers; Dove ice cream bars, but not popsicles; and Gatorade, but not seltzer water -- because seltzer water contains no nutrients” (Krisberg). Krisberg said, “school are facing serious budget problems and Coke and Pepsi and junk food manufacturers have taken advantage of that and offered schools the opportunity to raise money while the companies generate profits.” However, even though some schools have completely gotten rid of unhealthy foods, the officials have noticed that there still is a market to make money off of unhealthy drinks and snacks (Krisberg). To completely avoid having what schools offer, one suggestion would be to bring your own healthy alternatives to lunch. Where food is consumed around three to four times a day, we need to be decisive when it comes to what we put in our mouths. Truth be told, we are what we eat. Medical complications are main side effects of being obese, and type 2 diabetes is an increasing problem within our youth. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 9 million overweight weight children older than six. These children are being put at a drastically higher risk of asthma and type 2 diabetes, along with other complications, and developing heart conditions at such a young age (Krisberg). Now confirmed by in depth research, needless weight can invade on the mental level of our health. Not only does obesity increase the severity of depression and Alzheimer's disease it also infringes on sexual and reproductive health. Scientists not only believe that obesity reduces the quality of life but also increases the complications of cancer in the colon, kidney and esophagus (Gorman). Now accounting for more than fifty percent of newly diagnosed diabetics, type 2 diabetes was once a problem that was never seen in young adults. Though hereditary and influenced by many personal lifestyle choices, this predicament is exclusively linked to the paediatric pandemic. Moreover, in a British company, the risk of death from ischaemic heart disease has nearly doubled over the last 57 years (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig). These conditions are serious health concerns that need to be addressed immediately. Also in older individuals, heartburn is a factor. Not only hypertension, dyslipidaemia, chronic inflammation, increased blood clotting tendency, endothelial dysfunction, and hyperinsulinemia are found in elders, they are showing up in obese adolescents. Children as young as 5 years old have been linked to these cardiovascular disease risk factors, which is known as the insulin resistance syndrome (Ebbeling, Pawlak, Ludwig). Many physical risks and complications linked to obesity are diabetes, high blood pressure, and a hard time breathing (“Obesity”). Some additional effects of overweight individuals are painful joints and heart burn. During 2005, a study was conducted with 450 people that proved adults are two and half times more likely to feel heartburn due to being overweight. One main cause of that would be the excess visceral fat pushing the stomach higher into the chest. Additionally being more heavier causes your joints to carry more weight and can cause discomfort (Gorman). If you want to life a long and healthy life, changes need to be made as soon as possible. Children and adults need to make major changes in their life in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately being obese leads to an unhappy lifestyle and may turn into depression. Not only does obesity carry a heavy tag on you but also others around you. It’s obvious that obesity carries a nuisance to the community and drastically has an economical inconvenience. Currently behavioral programs get funded by the government and healthcare providers, which in terms is costing us through tax money. Typically a constant weekly schedule with one of these behavior therapists would cost $50, and which would total up to $2,500 annually, or a shy higher than $7,000 annually for medical and costs for the obesity epidemic. To secure permanent exercising and eating routines the sessions may only be required for a year or two; however, the investment would last through the course of your life (Freeman). Linked to horrible diets and the absence of exercise, unhealthy weight gain has been tied to over 300,000 deaths annually. $100 billion is the evaluated cost that obesity has set back the society per year. If left unattended, obese children have a high risk of becoming overweight adults; however, if healthy work out patterns and eating techniques are utilized obesity wouldn’t be a problem (“Obesity”). As stated by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 160,000 additional deaths are caused by the obesity problem. Following this further, the researchers at George Washington University have concluded that the typical obese person sets back the community over $7,000 in added medical treatment and lost productivity annually (Freeman). It is suggested by many to adjust the current routines if you are obese to live an enjoyable life. Obesity is soon to over pass some lifestyle-related health conditions. Smoking, currently the number one single factor in early death is soon to be beat by obesity, which leads to a lower lifestyles and piled on health costs and concerns (Freeman). In one estimate it is said that in 2030 the U.S. will house around sixty five million obese inhabitants. In other words it will lead to an excess of around six million heart disease and stroke cases. With another eight million type 2 diabetes cases (Gorman). Over all this time, it’s common sense that being obese places people at an increased risk from heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Obesity, scientifically defined as being twenty percent more overweight on the high end of normal, is currently skyrocketing (Gorman). Where obesity wasn't such a problem, it is in this day in age and needs to be corrected. Not only to live a healthy life but also an enjoyable one. Our nation has an epidemic that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Putting off a topic as such will not benefit anyone. In other words, the major changes that we as a nation would see lies within each other. Currently to this day, the most acknowledged way to drop the smallest amount of fat and keep it off is with the basic diet and exercise programs that are designed to change your behavior. Using the behavioral method, that has been tested for many years, consists of creating many small, manageable adjustments in exercise and eating patterns. Create a plan that is reassured by the community and the rest of the world around us (Freeman). One way to solve obesity is to consume smaller portions. Try to avoid having the large or extra large items when eating. Also the best way to date to lose weight is to exercise. Do anything other than sitting down, go dance, skateboard, play a sport. Anything that is physical is a benefit to your body (Landauro). Obesity is manageable, and some ways include utilizing an exercise program, avoid junk food, and eat at the dinner table instead of in front of the television (“Obesity”). Truly, if we work together as a country this issue can be solved. If all else fails, medical attention may be a reality. In our current day in age, we have advanced dramatically in medical procedures. Some overweight teens have been considering surgery. During the surgery the goal is to close off a section of the stomach and the intestines to basically constrict the amount of food that the teen would be able to consume. Because surgery should only be considered as a last resort, many doctors have been undecided when it comes to operating on children (Landauro). What should be done is have parents stay on top of their children and help them lose weight. What helped me the most was when my brother would always pushed me harder and harder to lose weight. However, surgery may be an option, it should only be used as a last resort. When it comes down to any problem, help from others especially parents really helps. Working as one society to overcome any problem is the most successful way. With our nation in this epidemic, it is necessary that all of America gets together as one and works on this problem. Children need to be taught the correct way of eating and choosing healthy foods.Also schools need to implement greater P.E. classes to inform our kids of america the benefits of being active. If left alone, children would suffer high blood pressure, heartburn, joint pain and more. Hopefully, schools adopt new nutrition guidelines to better fuel the kids of the next generation. The future of this nation lies within the hands of our children, so why not keep them healthy?

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