Childhood Obesity

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Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity


Childhood Obesity is growing problem in the United States. Between 5-25 per hundred of young kids and teenagers in the United States are obese (Dietz, 1983). This expanding percentage has brought into the lightweightweight the problem of childhood obesity. Children are growing fatter younger. The second National Children and Youth Fitness Study found that 6-9 year olds have thicker skinfolds compared to their counterparts in the 1960s (Ross & Pate, 1987). During the same period, some have documented a 54 percent increase in the frequency of obesity among 6-11 year olds (Gortmaker, Dietz, Sobol, & Wehler, 1987). The prevalence of obesity increases with age among both males and females (Lohman, 1987), and there is a greater likelihood that obesity beginning in early childhood will last throughout a life span (Epstein, Wing, Koeske, & Valoski, 1987). So while an obese baby may not become an obese child and an obese child may not become an obese adult, the likelihood increase and may last a lifetime. It is safe to say that childhood obesity is an issue that needs to be explored.

Defining Childhood Obesity

So what is childhood obesity? Obesity, by itself, is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity is obtained when total body weight is measured as having more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls (Lohman, 1987). However, it is different in the case of children. Childhood obesity is defined as a weight-for-height in excess of 120 percent of the ideal. Because of growing differences between ages and gender, skinfold measurement would be more accurate determinant of fatness in the case of children (Dietz, 1983; Lohman, 1987).


If the problem of childhood obesity is acknowledged and corrected, it is first very crucial to consider the reasons for its existence. This will provide a logical way to go about correcting the problem. Many children suffer from obesity because of a combination of factors. A poor diet is a major factor, which is mainly caused by the poor food that is available in today's schools and restaurants. Many of the foods that are served today are full of preservatives and are more fattening than they have ever been. For example, pay vigilance to an mean school's cafeteria menu. A good portion of the main courses are fried foods that are fattening and just generally unhealthy to consume. Chicken patties, which is really just processed, fish sticks, and corn dogs are just a few examples of everyday meals that are entirely too common in the average school cafeteria. Unfortunately, the same goes for today's restaurants, which often include many unhealthy options on the menu. Fast food is just about the unhealthiest thing that you can put in your body, yet many kids include it in their everyday diets. All of the food that kids are exposed to in their everyday lives leaves them with very few choices when it comes to maintaining a healthy ...
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