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Health Risk Associated With Childhood Obesity

2379 words - 10 pages

Childhood obesity is a disease where excess body fat affects a child's health or wellbeing. With the number of children affected by the disease increasing, it is important to understand the consequences. Not only will obesity influence a child’s physical heath, but it can also affect their emotional and social health as well. Acknowledging that obesity is a preventable disease should help lower the number of children affected by it. It is not about dieting; it is a lifestyle change that should be adopted and practiced by the whole family. Being obese increases a child's risk of being an obese adult. I will argue that parent education regarding the physical and emotional effects of childhood obesity can protect the lives of children. In order to understand obesity, it is important to figure out if your child is actually obese or just a little overweight. Only a professional doctor or pediatrician should be the one to determine if your child should be considered obese. What a doctor looks at is a child’s BMI (body mass index), which is taken by the doctor or pediatrician and determined from the child’s height and weight. According to the CDC (2006) a child is considered obese if their weight is more than 20 percent higher than the ideal weight for a boy or girl of their age and height (p.1). According to the World Health Organization, obesity accounts for two to six per cent of total health care costs in several developed countries; some estimates put the figure as high as seven per cent. When dealing with obesity in children, the focus should be on related health risks caused by the disease. One of the more serious side effects of obesity would be cardiovascular disorders. Cardiovascular disorders include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, heart failure, and can lead to a stroke as an adult. All the complications affect the hearts ability to function normally. When dealing with a cardiovascular disorder, a child’s heart has to work harder in order for that child to be able to accomplish everyday tasks. Heart disease is not a major cause of death in children, but it is the number one cause of death among adults in the United States. It is silly, and even worse, sad to see a life taken away by a condition that could have been prevented. Another disease that can be carried into adulthood is Type-2 Diabetes. Type-2 diabetes occurs when the blood sugar levels are above normal. It is a lifelong disease which has to be maintained on a daily basis. When a child has Type-2 Diabetes, their body does not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond normally to insulin. Insulin carries sugar from blood to the cells, where it is used for energy. If there is insulin resistance, blood sugar does not get into cells to be stored for energy. It is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease, kidney disease, stroke,...

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