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Causes Of Obesity In American Children

4086 words - 16 pages

Nowadays, the world faces many problems that are different than what have been faced in the past. Some of these things are of more critical importance than others. One item of critical importance is the obesity epidemic among children. The situation is becoming quite scary for children who are finding themselves overweight, out of breath, and unable to play with their friends. Older people typically know what got them into this situation and how to deal with it, but children don't know what they should do with obesity. Society is ill-informed as to the severity of the consequences of the obesity epidemic in children. While it may be true that society does not realize the weight gain of children, it can be seen in America that there are many causes of obesity in America children from the environment.
It is undeniable that obesity in children is on the rise in America. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), around 18% of children aged 6 – 11 years are obese and nearly 21% of children aged 12 – 19 years. Over one third of all children and adolescents in America are overweight (cdc.gov, 1). The World Health Organization defines obesity as having a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30 in adults. Body mass index can be calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. However, no clear definition of obesity in children has been defined. The lowest number BMI that defines obesity in children has not yet been established. In the scheme of things, childhood obesity is a rather new issue in the medical community. Obesity spans much larger than merely cosmetic concerns. Obesity is a very complex disease than can lead to numerous serious health risks. Obesity can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, muscoskeletal disorders, and cancer. The higher the body mass index is, the higher the risk for these diseases is. Obese children are at risk to develop these diseases as adults. Not only that, but they are also at risk for breathing troubles, hypertension, insulin resistance, and psychological effects in childhood (WHO.int, 1). The severity of these consequences makes this issue of utmost importance in American society today. It is unfair for adults who are supposed to be taking care of children to foster these types of behaviors that will cause later detriment to their health. It is not a stretch to say that it is unethical to allow children to become obese by allowing them to make unhealthy lifestyle choices in regard to diet and exercise. In adults, it is relatively clear that obesity seems to be linked to a higher intake of calories combined with a lower amount of physical activity. The risks associated with obesity in children are clear, but how children are finding themselves in this situation may be less obvious.
In modern America, almost everyone has a job, leaving them insufficient time to cook for their families. Not only do most parents have jobs, but after work there are many...

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