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Childhood Obesity

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Topics: Obesity, Nutrition
Efren Iniguez
English 101
Professor Dority
February 21, 2013

Childhood obesity in America is a growing epidemic. Most would claim they know it is a problem in our country, yet every year there is an increase in the amount of obese children in the United States. The medical, physical, and psychological effects associated with obesity are astounding; nevertheless, processed, high calorie, low nutrient food is widely available and consumed on a regular basis by children. Parents, childcare providers, schools, and the community all need to aid in the cure and prevention of childhood obesity by providing healthy, nutritious food for children and encouraging daily exercise.
Childhood obesity rates have risen at alarming rates over the past three decades. The estimation for 2010 is that one in every five children in the United States of America is already, or will be, overweight. The result of this has come to the fact that childhood obesity is now the most common prevalent nutritional disorder of children living in the United States.

Cheap, tasty, nutrient-lacking foods are never far from reach. Junk food, processed edible items, and calorie dense morsels are sold in every supermarket, convenience store, vending machine, and public place availableThere has been a definite growth in the percentage of children who are considered to be obese. This problem seems to have been growing steadily since the 1960's but has become especially prevalent in today's society. It now seems as though you can't walk in the city for more than a couple minutes without seeing a child that is obese or who has some evident weight problems. This problem is far too common among today's children and can’t be ignored. This commonly occurring obesity can cause a wide range of serious complications, and increase the risk of premature illness and death later in life, raising public-health concerns. There are many factors that appear to cause or at least contribute to this epidemic that our society is experiencing. These mainly include genetic factors, lack of physical activity, and unhealthy diets. This problem is continuously growing but it's never going to stop or at least slow down unless it is taken seriously. The amount of obesity in American children can be solved through family and school intervention. With better parenting, new school diets, and physical programs, today's children can have a better chance at becoming healthier. “Obesity is now second only to smoking as a major cause of preventable death in America, with more then 400 thousand deaths per year associated with related illnesses.” Children are growing fatter younger. The prevalence of obesity increases with age among both males and females, and there is a greater likelihood that obesity beginning in early childhood will last throughout a lifespan. The chance of being obese as an adult drastically increases when obesity is present during childhood. The reason for this increased risk is due the poor eating and exercise habits learned in childhood. Being overweight will cause metabolic and hormonal changes effecting eating habits and increasing the chances of being obese. Diseases that were not a risk in the past are now a risingSociety, in general, has drastically changed over the past century. Growth and expansion have paved the way for new technological advances, but not with some downfalls to go along with it. One such downfall of new technology would be the “convenience factor” (convenient stores for junk food, convenient to watch television, play video games, watch a movie, talk or text on a cellular phone as opposed to physical exercise, convenient for parents to stop by fast food as opposed to healthy meals). Lack of parental controls in these areas in conjunction with the “convenience factor” has lead to childhood obesity. This is an increasingly growing disease and will continue to be so if society does not stop being so convenient. The American Society today has become “obesogenic’, characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, unhealthy foods, and physical inactivity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). People (children and adults) spend more time in front of televisions or computers and less time exercising. We drive a car everywhere we go as opposed to walking or riding a bicycle. Children play more video games instead of playing hide and seek, which requires them to run around, being active and getting exercise. We lead busier lives so time does not allow for spending it in the kitchen preparing healthy meals. Parents live such hectic lifestyles which often lead to dining or getting take out at a fast food restaurant, making them guilty of contributing to childhood obesity. Children with obese parents are likely to follow in their parents footsteps and become obese themselves.
Overweight and obesity result from an energy deficiency. This incorporates taking in too much food (too many calories) and lack of exercise; thus defining obesity.
The imbalance between calories consumed and calories used can result from the influences

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