What is one of the most serious problems for children in North America today? These days, many people suffer from obesity in North America and, it causes problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and early mortality. A lot of people think that obesity is a problem only for adults, but now obesity has become one of the most serious problems for children in North America. Childhood obesity occurs when children are overweight and this is measured by body mass index (BMI). Obese children tend to be unhappy because they often have bad health, bad social relationships, and low self-confidence. Mayo clinic staff (2012) defined childhood obesity as:
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.
In addition, MedicineNet.com (2012) defined BMI as:
A key index for relating weight to height. Abbreviated BMI. BMI is a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by his or her height in meters squared. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now defines normal weight, overweight, and obesity according to BMI rather than the traditional height/weight charts.
With these in mind, childhood obesity in North America is caused by poor quality of diet, lack of adequate exercise, and low socioeconomic levels.
First, one of the main reasons for childhood obesity in North America is unhealthy diet. Consumption of a lot fast food is one of the causes of childhood obesity. Children who like to eat fast food consume more fats, sugars and carbohydrates than children who don’t often eat fast food, and also children who like to eat fast food consume 187 calories more each day, which likely adds up to about 6 pounds per year, than children who don’t often eat fast food. (David & Kelly, 2004). Consequently, fast food often leads to childhood obesity. As well, consumption of too many sweet drinks such as coke and soda can cause childhood obesity. According to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital (n.d.),
“Drinking soda, juice, sports drinks and other sugar-sweetened liquids does nothing for your hunger, even if you consume hundreds of calories. As a result, sugar-sweetened beverages are often wasted calories”.
Also, drinking a glass or two grasses of juices a day is the same as about 15.6 pounds of weight gain over a year (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, n.d.). Consequently, children are more likely to be obese due to consumption of too many sweet juices. Also, childhood obesity results from lack of fruits and vegetables. Many children who are obese don’t eat fresh fruits or vegetables. Children who consume fewer than 5 fruits and vegetables are more likely to be obese than...