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Obesity, Children And Physical Education Essay

1330 words - 5 pages

Today, it is no secret that America is overweight. Although we still remain the land of the free, we are looked at by the rest of the world as “the fat country”. This is a label that we are not proud of and each day more and more people are becoming aware of the new epidemic called Obesity. In the article “Childhood Obesity in New York City Elementary School Students”, the author Lorna E. Thorpe discusses the numbers and statistics of how many kids are really overweight. “ Findings from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that in 1999-2000, the prevalence of obesity among children aged six through eleven years was 15 percent” (Thorpe et al. 2004). Previous surveys show that in 1960 the obesity rate was five percent, and in eleven percent in 1988-1994. From looking at the information in the surveys you can easily see that the obesity rates are climbing rapidly. With obesity, come many dangerous side effects, both short term and long term. Short term side effects of obesity are “adverse effects on growth, blood pressure, blood lipids, and glucose metabolism” (Thorpe et al. 2004). Long term effects consist of “greater risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gall bladder disease, and osteoarthritis” (Thorpe et al. 2004). Along with physical effects of obesity, a child will also experience many physiological effects also. “Negative self-image, decreased self-esteem, eating disorders, and lower health-related quality of life” (Thorpe et al. 2004) are all examples of the physiological side effects. These can have a severe impact on a child’s outlook on life as he or she gets older. Although these side effects are prevalent to childhood obesity, no child should have to go through these thoughts or feelings. Many people may think that if their kid is overweight they will grow out of it. Some may, but for others the chances are slim. “For obese children, the probability that obesity persists into adulthood increases with a child’s age, from 20 % among obese four year olds to 80 % among obese teenagers” (Thorpe et al. 2004). With that being said, there is a very small window of time for a child to get on the right track to a healthy lifestyle. In the article the author discusses a survey conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and also the Department of Education based on height and weight in New York Elementary Schools to show how many kids are really overweight. New York City is a great location to conduct this survey considering how big and diverse it is. The idea of this survey was to determine how many kids were overweight according to gender, age, and race/ethnicity and also to see how the rates have changed since the last survey in 1996. In the 1996 survey, 20% of elementary school students were overweight so an accurate test was needed to see if that percentage changed. “ A total of 736 elementary school students were listed and enumerated, and 70 schools were...

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