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Childhood Obesity Issue Essay

2261 words - 10 pages

Childhood obesity
Numerous children are victims of a variety of health problems inflicted by the deficiency of good nutrition and physical activity. Childhood obesity is a national epidemic and is continuously growing rapidly. Obesity is an excessive amount of body fat in relation to body mass, being overweight is your body weight in relation to your height (L. Marcus Ph. D and A. Baron M.S.W.). Obesity is the most distinct medical condition but the most difficult condition to treat. Obesity is the result of calorie imbalance. Obesity is commonly caused by overeating and lack of exercise although there are genetic diseases and hormonal disorders that can cause obesity. When children eat more than they need, the extra calories are stored in fat cells to use for energy later. If this pattern continues over time, they develop more fat cells and may develop obesity. Childhood obesity will cause physical, social and emotional adversities for your child
Obesity has many primary factors that can cause this disease, the main ones being: social, genetic, and economic. Nutrition, physical activity, and family factors also contribute to obesity. Children with obese parents have a fifty percent of being obese. If a child has two obese parents he’s at a higher risk of thirty percent of being obese than a child with one obese parent. Thirty percent of adult obesity begins with childhood obesity. Genetics contributes between five and forty percent of the risk for obesity. Genetic disorders that increase obesity in children are: Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, Alstrὄm syndrome, primary or secondary hypothyroidism, and primary hyperinsulinism. These disorders are responsible for approximately 5% of the obesity in children. Another cause of obesity in children can be caused by certain medications such as steroids which causes an imbalance on the hormones and therefore on the children's metabolism. Some studies suggest that obesity can be inherited as well.
Children are also influenced by their environments. Food prices have a marked influence on food-buying behavior and on nutrient intake. Some children’s families do not have the finances to purchase healthy foods, so they buy what they can afford which is fast food and junk. Markets have lowered their prices for the unhealthy food making it easier for consumers to buy and harder to resist when it fits in the budget. Also, television has become a big part of the youth’s extra-curricular activities. Children don’t spend most of their time outside playing anymore, now they watch TV for more than seven hours. A recent literature review by Kaiser Family Foundation highlighted a number of studies that suggested that advertising influenced dietary and other food choices in children (M. Dehghan, N. Akhtar-Danesh and A. Merchant). While watching TV for hours on end, they will see advertising for fast food restaurants and junk food. Unhealthy foods are advertised on TV to target children and...

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