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Childhood Obesity In America Essay

1913 words - 8 pages

America is becoming fat. It is a simple fact, and everyone knows it. Already, Americans weigh on average 24 pounds more than they were in the 1960’s (“Hurst” n.p.). Twenty-four pounds may not seem like much, but it is not just the adults that are being affected-- America’s children are the main victims. The future of the United States is at stake, and yet no one seems to notice.
Before people can even try to solve the problem, they must first know what deems a child “obese.” Obesity is determined by comparing the ratio of a child’s height to his/her weight (also known as a Body Mass Index or BMI) against the average BMI for children in that sex and age group. If a child is above the 95th percentile for his or her age/sex division that child is considered obese (“Childhood” n.p.). However, “obese” is not just a term used to describe a fat child. Obese children have to deal with many social issues that accompany their weight problems. Obese children are often the victims of bullies; this can lead to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem that these children may carry with them their entire lives (“Childhood” n.p.). Along with the title of “obese,” these children face a more serious dilemma than just being made fun of by their peers. Health issues such as the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol

are heightened. These health conditions were previously only seen in adults. Not only are the nation’s children facing problems that have previously never been dealt with, but the excess body fat opens the door for cardiovascular diseases, eating and sleep disorders, diabetes, puberty at a younger age, and some types of cancer (“Childhood” n.p.). The scary realization occurs when one takes into consideration the fact that childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years (“Educating” n.p.). The condition of the nation is getting worse. How can a child expect to live a healthy, happy life in a country that sets them up for a life of gluttony? Through community support, informative campaigns, and dedication America can solve the childhood obesity crisis.
To begin, when taking into consideration ways that American’s can help prevent childhood obesity, one must first look at where it all begins--in the home. True, the way one is raised essentially determines the way he or she lives the rest of their life. Often, young children are more likely to see their mothers put chunks of unidentifiable frozen foods into the microwave than see a nutritional home cooked meal be prepared (“Long” n.p.). Americans are living in a world of convenience; however, when these behaviors are exhibited to young children, it can leave lasting effects. Another way parents influence the progression of childhood obesity is by trying to regulate their children’s food consumption. Researchers from the University of Michigan have discovered that parents who inhibit the consumption of certain foods are more likely to have obese children because the children overeat the...

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