Childhood Obesity

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, Childhood obesity Pages: 7 (2371 words) Published: August 23, 2013


Childhood Obesity, a Growing Concern Marjorie Student ENG122 Tiffany Professor January 17, 2011

CHILDHOOD OBESITY Childhood Obesity, a Growing Concern There are many differences between children today and children 20 years ago. One area that is concerning, not only to researchers and politicians, but parents as well, is the increase in childhood obesity, which is reaching epidemic proportions. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted in 2008, the prevalence of obese children in the 6-11 year age range, alone, increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Another study conducted by Datamonitor states that 2 out of 5 children in the 6-13 age group are overweight or obese. This equates to 40.7%. (Childhood Obesity Expected to be a Growing Concern Through 2014, 2010). There are a wide array of theories on why childhood obesity has climbed including genetics, medical, environmental, and behavioral reasons. Although these areas may all play a role in this trend, it is important to first understand


what changes have occurred over the last 2 decades that would cause a change of this magnitude in children. The obvious cause would be changes that have occurred behaviorally and environmentally. At its simplest form, children eat more and have a more sedentary lifestyle. This seems very obvious on the surface. It is a well known fact that lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits lead to obesity. What is important to reversing this trend is understanding why children eat less healthy foods and are less active. What aspects of life have drawn children into these unhealthy habits? Why are children less active and drawn to foods that are high in fat and sugars causing childhood obesity to be at its highest point ever? Research on this topic is important, as it is imperative that this trend be reversed. Without a plan, and understanding of the cause of the increase in childhood obesity, the future health and wellbeing of these children is at

CHILDHOOD OBESITY substantial risk. Childhood obesity rates can be reversed with changes to behavior and environmental conditions. The researcher reviewed both qualitative and quantitative research found in scholarly journals, substantive news and opinion magazines, and research reports found through Proquest, JSTOR, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar and other scholarly websites, to search for studies and


statistics collected by professionals, in the field of health and wellness in children. In addition to the internet the researcher used the hard copy book Fed Up! Winning the War Against Childhood Obesity. The most valuable resources were those that had been conducted and published in the last 3-5 years. Recent studies and statistics are beneficial to the ongoing research needed in this high profile area. It provided the researcher with a point of reference that is relevant on society today. Many believe that the increasing trend upward in childhood obesity is due to genetics. However, evidence shows that although children may be predisposed at birth to becoming obese, genetics by itself is not the cause for the increase. In order for genetics to be viewed as the reason childhood obesity has increased dramatically, it would require that the genetic makeup of the human race also change. The researcher could not locate any proof of such a claim. Scientists are confident that the increase is based on environmental factors. There has not been enough elapsed time for a new genetic mutation to grab hold of our society and cause children to become obese (Okie,2005). Therefore, the reason for this trend must be rooted in environmental influences and behavioral changes that have occurred over the last few decades. In order to prove out the theory the researcher has conducted research on the reasons for the increase in childhood obesity. The researcher has come to...

References: Birch, LL, & Ventura, AK. (2009). Preventing childhood obesity: what works?. International Journal of Obesity, 33. Retrieved January 16, 2011 from EBSCOhost doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.22
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). Childhood overweight and obesity Atlanta, GA: Retrieved January 9, 2011 from Childhood obesity expected to be a growing concern through 2014. (November/December,2010). American Fitness, 28(6),(61), Retrieved January 9, 2011 from EBSCOhost AN: 54970395 Golan, M., Kaufman, V., & Shahar, D.. (2006). Childhood obesity treatment: targeting parents exclusively v. parents and children. The British Journal of Nutrition, 95(5), 1008-15. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1453959991). Jordan, A. (2010). Children 's television viewing and childhood obesity. Pediatric Annals, 39(9),569-73 Retrieved January 9, 2011 from Research Library doi: 2137392121 Okie, S. (2005). Fed Up! Washington DC: Joseph Henry Press. US Department of Health and Human Service, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (n.d) Childhood Obesity Washington, DC: Retrieved January 9, 2011 from
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