Childhood Obesity an American Epidemic

In: Other Topics

Submitted By nickelp68
Words 1226
Pages 5
There is an epidemic in America and it is called “Childhood Obesity.” “Obese,” from the Latin word “obesus,” means “grow fat by eating.” (Dalton, 2004) This term’s origin suggests that overeating is the major cause of the obesity epidemic. Teaching obese children to eat less is essential. But modifying behavior is no simple task, and eating too much is not the sole cause of obesity. Other factors play a role and must be understood in order to reverse this epidemic and produce healthier children. The growing number of obese children in America are victims of an epidemic just as surely as if they were infected by a virus. Americans tend to think of an epidemic as an outbreak of a contagious illness. But to physicians the sudden increase in obesity rates that have occurred in the twentieth century is every bit as unexpected as an outbreak of a new infectious disease and has triggered an alarm that might greet the rising of polio. Julie Gerberding, the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the fall of 2003, declared obesity the number one health threat facing America. (Okie, 2005)
The causes (nature) of this epidemic are complex and include genetic, biological and behavioral factors. These include, but are not limited to poor eating habits, overeating, the lack of exercise, family history of obesity, cardiac, endocrine or neurological problems, life changing events or stress, along with family or peer problems and low self-esteem or emotional problems. There are also many medications, such as steroids and antidepressants that can contribute to weight gain. The consequences that obese children are at risk for are acute or chronic medical problems, such as abnormal bone growth, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low self-esteem and respiratory problems, all of which can persist…...

Similar Documents

Childhood Obesity

...Children and Obesity Sharletta Guy-Pope SOC490: Social Science Capstone Raqota Berger June 18, 2012 Introduction Due to the growing concern and increase prevalence of childhood obesity around the world the population of children as it relates to childhood obesity indicates that these children will suffer even greater as adults. This increasing concern has become a public health issue and a social issue with children. Furthermore, research shows that the media plays an important role in the current epidemic of childhood obesity, which also has become a social issue with children. The increasing amounts of junk food and fast food advertisements, that target children and adolescents, have an effect on the outcome of their health and nutritional habits; these advertisements shift away from good nutritional practices. Food advertisements that advertise unhealthy foods such as foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol (junk foods) puts children at risk for high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, both of which causes heart disease later on in life, which are precursors of cardiovascular disease resulting in childhood obesity. Sociocultural Factors Gender Society, culture, and the media send children powerful messages about body weight and shape ideals. For girls; ideas that are stressed in the media include the "thin ideal" and urging to diet and exercise, which can put pressure on girls to be thin, putting......

Words: 2446 - Pages: 10

Childhood Obesity an American Epidemic

...Childhood Obesity An American Epidemic By Annissia Y. Pate Is childhood obesity an American epidemic? The answer is yes. An epidemic is defined by a wide spread outbreak of a condition where many people are infected at the same time. Epidemic obesity is occurring all over the world. Children are eating less healthy foods and engaging in less healthy activities. Childhood obesity is not limited to any specific race or type of child, but obesity is affecting children in the United States. Today, American children are more obese than medical science recommends, and their body weight is still increasing. Childhood obesity has become one of the largest health concerns in the United States. According to the Center of Disease and Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Children are gaining weight due to lack of physical activity and types of quantity of food they consume. Kids today are content with sitting on the couch, spending countless hours, watching television and playing video games. We need to encourage children to get up and get involved in more physical activities. Lack of exercise is simply not enough for a growing child’s body to deal with increased caloric intake of today’s modern diet. Children must participate in gym class and make every effort to deal in sports after school. Parents must make a diligent effort to offer healthier chooses for meals. Fast foods, sugary drinks and......

Words: 760 - Pages: 4

Childhood Obesity

...Childhood Obesity – State of Oregon Legislation and Federal Legislation Ann Klinger DeVry University HSM410 Health Care Policy Professor Patricia Devin Week #7 February 23, 2013 Childhood Obesity – State of Oregon Legislation and Federal Legislation Summary On June 21, 2004 Senator Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Senator Bill Frist, introduced to the 108th Congress Senate Bill S.2551 entitled Childhood Obesity Reduction Act. This bill was to “combat childhood obesity for children in Oregon and throughout the nation, and urged that Congress take the lead in curbing the epidemic by passing the Childhood Obesity Reduction Act. The legislation, would establish a Congressional Council on Childhood Obesity to promote the following activities and to encourage every U.S. elementary and middle school to develop and implement a plan to reduce and prevent obesity, promote improved nutritional choices, and promote increased physical activity:” ("Wyden combats childhood," October 2004 Press Release). United States Senate bill S.2551 failed, but all 50 states and the Federal government are continuing to make efforts to reduce childhood obesity. My paper will review legislation the State of Oregon has implemented to reduce childhood obesity. I will provide an overview of Federal government legislation that has been implemented to reduce childhood obesity. Statistics report, “since 1980 obesity has more than doubled among children ages 2 to 5, and youths 6 to 11 rates have grown...

Words: 2924 - Pages: 12

Childhood Obesity

...Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Childhood Obesity Unit 6 project Angela Zinn October 27, 2012 There are many illnesses and diseases that plague Americans and many other people this day and age. However, one of the most dangerous, most preventable, and possibly the deadliest disease is obesity. There is a growing rate of Americans that are overweight, and now this disease is spreading to the children. It has now become an epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than twelve million children and teens are being affected by obesity (2011, CDC). Exercise, eating healthy, and working together as a family are just a few preventative measures that families can take to prevent the childhood obesity epidemic. Exercise is the key factor in preventing obesity and it’s essential to good health. The lack of exercise is the biggest contributor to overweight and obesity problems. Children are less active today than the child of the same age was fifty to sixty years ago. A routine as a family unit has changed drastically. Years ago, family grew their own vegetables and raised their own meat. The children worked in the fields, which helped burned calories. There was no television in the house (Harmon, 2007). As a parent, leading by example is one way to get children up and moving. Taking family walks, walking the dog after dinner, or even going outside to pass a football or baseball are all ways to get outside as a family and move. Another way parents......

Words: 868 - Pages: 4

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

...Running Head: CHILDHOOD OBESITY 1 America’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Why It’s The Parent’s Responsibility Brian Rodgers ENG 122 Professor Higgins December 18, 2012 CHILDHOOD OBESITY 2 America’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Why It’s The Parent’s Responsibility As kids, most of us can remember an elderly adult harmlessly coming up and pinching our cute, pudgy cheeks. For something that at one time was considered cute, this act now represents a national epidemic threatening the health of our country’s youth. As the number of overweight and obese children drastically increases, new arguments are forming as to where the responsibility falls. Several states have begun developing laws that are including poor nutritional and lifestyle choices by parents in the category of neglect and abuse. As new studies and research pour in showing that obesity has a direct relation to multiple severe health issues, it has become increasingly common knowledge. With this era being deemed the “technology age”, finding this information is easy and accessible to just about every person in the United States. This new found access to information and the amount of information available showing obesity causes health problems and even death; parents have become responsible for monitoring their......

Words: 2302 - Pages: 10

Childhood Obesity

...Childhood Obesity: The Latest Epidemic Facing Today’s Children Ashford University ENG 122 January 7, 2013 1. Childhood Obesity: The Latest Epidemic Facing Today’s Children Childhood obesity is the latest growing epidemic facing today’s children. In a report published by the Center for Disease Control (2012), nearly 17% or 12.5 million children and adolescents in the United States are classified as obese. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index that is equal to or greater than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. Childhood obesity can be the result of genetics but is mostly the result of continuous overeating with little or no physical activity to counter the number of calories ingested. Since childhood obesity remains a growing epidemic, the rise of childhood obesity can be attributed to such factors as increased entertainment media, targeting of children by marketing, larger portion sizes, and the consumption of sugar drinks. In today’s society, entertainment media devices such as smart phones, television, computers, video games and movies are an everyday part of life. With an extensive amount of media devices at our fingertips, children are spending an average of 7.5 hours a day engaged with some form of a communication device with the majority of that time allocated to watching television or playing video games (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). This increase in watching television or playing......

Words: 1582 - Pages: 7

Childhood Obesity

...Childhood Obesity Family-based treatment is more effective than individual treatment for childhood obesity diagnoses in America. Childhood obesity is a medical condition in which a child has excessive body mass index for the child’s age and height. Childhood obesity is a growing problem which has led to an epidemic in America. There are several contributing factors which lead adolescents to be diagnosed with pediatric obesity. Some American medical professionals are focusing on preventing and diminishing pediatric obesity with individual treatment, however, according to the American Heart Association, If parents are unhealthy, children are likely to be unhealthy too” (American Heart Association, 2011). Family-based treatment regulates the effects of childhood obesity over the long term versus individual treatment for adolescents and teenagers, which is a short term solution. Childhood obesity affects one in three children and teens in the United States, causing the rate to triple since 1963 (American Heart Association, 2011). Pediatric obesity involves children two to twenty years of age, where the child or teen has excessive body fat for their age and sex. Excessive body fat occurs when energy ingested is more than energy burned off by a child or teenager. A few symptoms of child obesity are sleep apnea; when a child or teen stops breathing in his or her sleep for a short period of time, hip or knee pain, difficulty in breathing such as; asthma, headaches, skin......

Words: 2697 - Pages: 11

Childhood Obesity

...CLC Yellow Team Health Issue Analysis: Childhood Obesity Yellow Group Grand Canyon University: NUR- 508 August 20, 2014 Cultural Beliefs and Influences Relative to Childhood Obesity According to Opalinski, (2013), childhood obesity is increasing in all racial groups. Cultural beliefs play a unique contribution in relation to this chronic condition. Evidence shows that place of origin is one of the factors contributing to having kids who are not as healthy as people were just a few decades ago. Based on the literature, minority populations specifically Hispanics (Hispanic) and African American children are at higher risk compared to other ethnicities. Pulgaron et al., (2013), explains the relationship of Hispanic children and cultural factors affecting the rate of obesity among this population. The literature shows that Hispanic children who have grandparents helping in their caretaking had a negative impact on food choices and feeding habits due to the fact that in the Hispanic culture bigger means being healthier. The perception applied to the African American culture generally believes that a larger body size is equal to being healthy. Opalinski (2013) also reported that further investigation must be performed to better understand the relationship of cultural beliefs and childhood obesity. Religious/ Spiritual Beliefs In the United States a few studies were performed to investigate the association of religion and obesity. Based on the literature, social......

Words: 789 - Pages: 4

Childhood Obesity

...Research Paper – Childhood Obesity ENG 121 11/19/2012 Childhood obesity is an important issue because of the staggering proportions that this disease has reached in the past few years. Certain genetic factors paired with changing lifestyles and culture has produced kids and adults who are generally not as healthy as people were just a few decades ago. Widespread obesity has been the extreme result of these changes. The greatest health risk facing children today is not a terrible disease such as Ebola, or an unthinkable trauma such as abuse; it is obesity, which is defined by the medical community as the accumulation of body fat levels above twenty five percent in boys and thirty two percent in girls. While the formula for maintaining healthy weight has never changed balance the number of calories you consume with the number you burn. A greater portion of Americans are unable to balance the equation. The levels of childhood obesity have risen in the past decades; presently twenty five percent of American children are obese with 80 percent of this group destined to become obese adults (Del Marco, 2006). The growing concern for obesity as a public health concern for children and adults has led to an effort to combat this disease. This movement is marked by an effort to improve the health content of school lunches. However, this movement has lacked conclusive evidence to support the thesis that changes in school lunches will result in......

Words: 2460 - Pages: 10

Childhood Obesity

...Running head: Childhood Obesity in America: A Super-sized Problem That Plagues Our Society 1 Childhood Obesity in America: A Super-sized Problem That Plagues Our Society Elizabeth Widmeyer Western Governors University Childhood Obesity in America: A Super-sized Problem That Plagues Our Society 2 Childhood Obesity in America: A Super-sized Problem That Plagues Our Society Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in America's society that is having an astronomical impact on the health of our children and our health care system. But, what exactly does it mean to label a child obese? According to Mayo Clinic (2014) “Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat.” Body fat is measured using the body mass index (BMI). A child's BMI is calculated by dividing their height by their weight. The calculation would then be graphed with their age in months to determine their growth percentile (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001). A child is considered obese if they are in the 95th percentile or higher . A child who falls in the 85th - 95th is considered overweight and is at risk of becoming obese (KidsHealth, n.d.). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) there are 12.5 million Americans between the ages of 2 to 19 that are obese. Race, physical activity level and eating habits are three main components that can lead to obesity in children. The U.S. Department of Health and Human......

Words: 1341 - Pages: 6

Obesity Epidemic

...Obesity Epidemic Since the 1980’s obesity in America has been on a steady increase and many question the cause. The question among professionals has been what’s the cause, the source of obesity in American? While there has been much discussion about the effects of obesity, the causes of obesity remains the highlight of the issue. To truly understand obesity we must first discuss the causes, rather its lack of job, changing social habits, or the easy access of fast foods. With the introduction of robotics and shipping jobs overseas we have seen a dramatic decline in hard working physical jobs in America. Such a decline has led to more, less physical desk jobs and long unemployment, aid in leading to obesity. No more are the 8 – 12 hr working days when you needed that lunch to get you by, and in a lot of cases healthy eating choices weren’t close by to consider. The days when our parent’s used to take a lunch pail into work with a sandwich, a fruit, and crackers with peanut butter have been replaced by less healthier choices such as packaged meals, or a nearby fast food chains which seem to be on every corner now and days. Just with the lack of physical jobs you can start to see why we have an obesity problem but this is just one example. Since the introduction of gaming consoles in the 1980’s children have been getting less physical activity outdoors. Prior to gaming children used to play outside doing such things as going to parks, fishing, playing tag, and various...

Words: 865 - Pages: 4

The American Obesity Epidemic

...The American Obesity Epidemic Obesity, a condition in which the body has an excessive accumulation of stored fat, is an epidemic plaguing the United States. A person is obese if their body mass index (BMI) is thirty percent or higher. According to recent statistics, more than 91.3 million Americans are obese. While not exclusive factors, diet, lifestyle, and education are causes that contribute greatly to the obesity epidemic, and can have severe consequences for not only the individual, but also for the United States. One of the main causes of obesity is improper diet. More than fifty-one percent of Americans eat processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. These processed foods are typically packaged foods purchased at the grocery store, and foods purchased at fast food restaurants. Along with eating unhealthy foods, people in the United States tend to eat large portions. Numerous studies have proven that a combination of eating the aforementioned foods and eating large portions, contributes greatly to obesity. So why is it that more than half of the American population chooses to eat large amounts of food that contain such unhealthy ingredients? A majority of Americans turn to packaged foods and fast food restaurants due to their fast-paced lifestyles. Due to the decrease in unskilled labor, more Americans are in skilled professions that generally require more hours worked in a sedentary job with little to no exercise. If you......

Words: 677 - Pages: 3

Childhood Obesity

...Res/531 June 19, 2011 Dr. Ed Yancey Topic Childhood Obesity in the Mid-South is a growing disease. Description of Childhood Obesity Childhood Obesity is defined as children having the condition of being excessively overweight (The American Heritage, 2002). The Centers for Disease Control reports that this country has been struggling with obesity for well over 20 years now and regarding childhood obesity, it is no less daunting.  Data from their surveys comparing the 1970's to the 2000's  show that the prevalence of obesity has increased for children of all ages at least 3 times over to about 20% of our population less than 19 years old (adult obesity approaches almost 35% in some states).  There is an eye-opening depiction of U.S. obesity trends by state and race/ethnicity over the past 4 years.  Obesity appears to be most commonly seen in the African American, Hispanic, and Native American populations and in lower income families (CDC, 2009). Why this Topic This topic was chosen because there is an overwhelming increase of children who are suffering from this disease. Obese children are also more likely to become overweight adults. 70% of obese children had at least one Cardiovascular Disease risk factor, and 39% had two or more (Freedman, 2007). This paper will show why childhood obesity has become such an epidemic and what can be done to counter this disease. Description of Childhood Obesity Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that......

Words: 2259 - Pages: 10

Childhood Obesity

...Childhood Obesity’s Impact on Healthcare The current epidemic of childhood obesity spans the globe affecting the majority of the industrialized world (Trasande & Elbel, 2012). In the United States, this epidemic will have an increased negative impact on the healthcare delivery system if not addressed at every level of the community. The importance of understanding this issue and working towards solutions will make for healthier American children and ensure decreased health problems as our children grow into adults. This type of effort will ensure a reduction in unnecessary health problems and fiscal cost for every citizen that utilizes the U.S. healthcare delivery system. Healthcare managers throughout the nation must educate themselves on this issue and be a vital part of the solution. When is a Child Considered Obese? The most accurate way to determine obesity is through the Body Mass Index (BMI) and actual measuring of the body mass composition (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Utilizing a height for weight and age chart doctors is capable of defining a child’s body mass index for his or her age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The recommended BMI for a child’s age will determine if they are at a proper weight, overweight, or obese. Many families are unaware of this index and fail to understand where their child may be in accordance with medical guidelines. When discussing the standards for children age two to twenty, the average......

Words: 1938 - Pages: 8

Childhood Obesity in the U.S.: a Growing Epidemic

...Childhood Obesity in the U.S. : A Growing Epidemic Unfortunately, for various reasons many U.S. parents find it difficult to acknowledge that their children are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is becoming a growing epidemic in the United States; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity among children has more than doubled over the past 20 years, generating numerous physical, social and psychological problems for the children. "Obesity is a condition resulting from excessive storage of fat in the body. Obesity has been defined as a weight more than 20% above what is considered normal according to standard age, height, and weight tables, or by a complex formula known as the body mass index." Dictionary.com, LLC, (2009). The causes of childhood obesity are multiple and the consequences of this growing epidemic endanger the child's well-being. Happily, childhood obesity can be treated; physical activity, diet management, and behavior modification can bring an obese child to its normal body weight, returning them their physical and psychological health. What are the differences from THEN to NOW? When I say THEN, I am referring to a much simpler time; the time around the 1950’s. At that time children walked to school while now they usually ride a bus or are driven by a parent. Then family meals were eaten at a table while these days’ meals are most often fast food, eaten in cars on the way from one place or activity to......

Words: 2402 - Pages: 10