Childhood Obesity

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, Hypertension Pages: 7 (2289 words) Published: November 2, 2014
ntroduction:
Obesity has become a well known word in this generation. Obesity is the condition of being grossly fat or overweight(Dictionary). In the past thirty years, obesity rates have more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents(CDC). There is more than one factor that has caused this obesity epidemic. The intake of high calorie and high fat foods, the lack of exercise, hormone imbalance, genetics, environmental factors, and socioeconomic factors all play a role in why current generations are overweight.

Everyone should try to avoid becoming overweight for their own health. Being overweight and obese can lead to many diseases. These include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity and all these diseases can be prevented with lifestyle habits including healthy nutritional eating, and physical exercise.

Discussion:
One of the many reasons that children are obese is because of their diet. Diets high in sugar, calories, and carbohydrates can lead to obesity when not burned off with exercise. Children like to indulge in unhealthy food because it's easy for the parents to buy after a long day, or because of what the media is advertising(Healthyeating). Yes, it is easier to pick up a happy meal for dinner from Mcdonalds, but is a cheeseburger, small fries, and milk really worth the 650 calories(sparkpeople) with little nutritional value? Fast food chains like Mcdonalds and Burger King advertise their kids meals with toys to reach out to the younger generations(Theinternetchief). Drinks high in sugar also quickly add to the daily calorie intake. One medium sized 21oz coke is 182 calories,(sparkpeople) when the choice of water was available for no calories and a great hydration choice.

Technology has greatly helped us advance in our everyday lives, but ironically it has also contributed to our life span becoming shorter by distracting us from exercise. Children these days are aways occupied with the latest electronics. Whether it be the Xbox 360, Playstation, computer, TV, gameboy, iPhone, iPod, or iPad, you can find many kids busy with their new contraptions. These new gadgets take away from being active. Healthykids.nsw infact states that kids who are and teens aged from 5 to 18 years old themselves need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day to keep themselves healthy(Healthykids). According to healthykids.nsw, kids who watch TV for more than 2 hours each day are more likely to have an unhealthy diet, and are less likely to eat fruit and are less likely to participate in physical activity, they are also more likely to snack on foods that are high in sugar, salt or saturated fat when they’re watching TV. The effects of too much screen time include: bad posture, eyesight can deteriorate, you can strain your wrist, thumb, and elbow, problems with sleep, lack of social skills, and the body can store more energy than it uses.(healthykids) Also, the energy used in Wii Sports games does not help you get your recommended amount of daily exercise(healthykids).

Hormone balances also contribute to childhood obesity. Tony Goldstone MD, PhD, senior clinician scientist at MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at the Imperial College of London, shares his research that “Both Fasting and the administration of the hormone ghrelin, which is high when we are fasting, increase the appeal of high calorie foods but not low”(Doheny). In his research he learned that ghrelin influences our eating habits by stimulating our brain's reward system. Goldstone looked at how the appeal of the foods affected a part of the brain called the anterior orbital frontal cortex,(Doheny) which is known to have to do with encoding the reward value of food. This means that how pleasurable we find food after missing meals, or eating is explained by levels of ghrelin circulating in the blood. This research provides us with clues to why so much of...
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