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Childhood Obesity Essay

1814 words - 7 pages

In an era when increasing obesity is threatening our nation, we are cutting the very programs that could help prevent childhood obesity. There is a decline in how much physical education and nutrition kids are receiving because of the pressures to test children to chart academic performances. The lack of physical activity and poor diet is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States (Health Policy Guide). There have been more than nine million children overweight since 1996. At a young age, children who are obese will more than likely have cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, dyslipedemia, and type two diabetes. Not only will they have cardiovascular diseases, but they will also have liver damage, asthma, and sleep apnea. To preserve our children from health problems like these, physical education should be provided more at home and school; parents and schools should consider monitoring their children’s diets; and parents, schools, and the community need to control the environment and influences our children may face.
A serious medical condition that affects children is known as childhood obesity. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height (MayoClinic). Most of are not know when a child is becoming obese or already is obese. An easy way to measure is using BMI, or body mass index. BMI uses height and weight measurements to estimate how much body fat a person has (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kg by height in meters squared; for pounds and inches, divide weight by height squared and multiply the results by the conversion factor 703. Once you find out what your child’s body mass index is you can easily plot them on a standard BMI chart. Kids can fall into one of four categories on a BMI chart; one is underweight, two is normal, three is overweight, and four is obese. Underweight is a BMI of anything that is below the fifth percentile. A BMI at the fifth and less than the eighty-fifth percentile is considered normal weight. Between the eighty-fifth and ninety-fifth percentiles, BMI is considered overweight and a BMI at or above the ninety-fifth percentile is classified as childhood obesity (Colorado State University).
Physical education is an ideal way to encourage activity and develop fitness among children. According to SocyBerty.com most people go in to the gym and think “Oh no! I have to go run.” Instead think of the good times you can with your friends while in physical education (SocyBerty). Physical activity helps with our body weight, blood pressure, and bone strength. Being physically active while as a child will help the chances of being physically active in adolescence and adulthood. Children who decrease their physical activity contribute to being overweight. Kids that aren’t that athletic also seem to get picked last for teams during class. Due to...

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