Solving The Childhood Obesity Epidemic Essay

2243 words - 9 pages

Obesity has increased drastically in today’s society. Alarmingly, present day generations show childhood obesity to be a growing crisis. Viewed as an epidemic, childhood obesity is sweeping across the United States and creating a public health crisis (Henry). Obesity in young children is contributed by different factors. Many are based off of lifestyles and peer pressure in schools and in households. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004), over 16 percent of children and adolescents from 6 to 19 years of age are overweight and/or obese” (Green 915). This reveals that obesity is a serious disease that is affecting many young people nationwide.
It was not until 2003 that obesity was recognized as a disease in the United States and before then a lot of insurance companies did not reimburse people paying out of pocket for their extreme over weight medical problems. “In July 2004, Medicare, recognizing that obesity is a critical public health issue today, changed its policy on addressing obesity”(Henry). Nearly one third of our nations children are considered obese, and the nation annually spends $150 billion dollar in health care. That is an alarming number, and the United States tax payers fund an approximant $60 billion of these costs through Medicare and Medicaid. With that said if child obesity was reduced by at little, as five percent, the nations health care savings could be greater than $29 billion. Unfortunately, instead of the child obesity rate decreasing, it has nearly tripled over the past few decades!
With that said, childhood obesity is impacting the youth of America, and overall affecting our society through different aspects, which typically continue into adulthood. The things children face while growing up in today’s society are very harsh and uncomfortable. Many children turn to food as a way of comfort, and children whom are overweight are at high risk to many health, psychological, and social problems. The health of a young child’s body is crucial. A child’s young body is continuously developing, and taking care of their health and making health a top priority is necessary. “…The likelihood of impaired quality of life for obese children is 5.5 times greater than that for healthy children”(Dale 44). Childhood obesity is related to numerous health problems, and with these health problems come medical bills. One of the most important health problems obese children encounter is the metabolic syndrome that can result in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it is when the blood contains a high amount of sugar. The symptoms can be controlled by a good diet and appropriate exercise, but it is unfortunately a life long disease for most that are diagnosed. Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is also a major con associated with obesity. Heart disease is life threatening, and can result in heart failure. Therefore, a childhood of...

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