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Childhood Obesity

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Twenty years ago there were just a hand full of children that were overweight, mostly because of a hormonal or genetic disorder (Johnson, 2005). Today a high rate, nearly 40 percent of children are overweight. There are so many questions to be answered and problems to be solved. Will schools actually start stepping up and helping parents with this problem? What about the affects on the children who have this problem? What should be done to help the children of the future? In this paper I will explain what needs to be done and explain what schools have started to solve this epidemic.


What causes childhood obesity? Is it parents? Teachers? Children themselves? No matter the cause it is a problem and it needs to be taken care of and taken care of fast. The cause of obesity occurs when the input of energy (food) is more than the output of energy (activity). For example, 3,500 calories equals one pound, so if a child goes over that by 50 to 100 calories a day that means a 5 to 10 pound weight gain in about a year. If that small imbalance between the two energies continues there will be a very big weight gain (Johnson, 2005). There is a difference between obese and overweight, obese is the upper half of being overweight. A doctor will diagnose a child as obese if that child is greater than 90 percent for weight for height or if that child is greater than 95th percentile of body mass index (BMI), age and sex specific (Kendall).

Impact on health

One major impact that a child faces when overweight is major health problems. One of the most dangerous health problems that an obese child can get is type 2 diabetes. The heavier a child is the more likely he or she is to develop this disease and that would make it even harder to loose the weight. Obese children also have increased blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac output when looked at compared to their peers who are not overweight (Johnson, 2005). If a child is overweight it is more likely that they will stay and be overweight as an adult, which can lead to even more health problems. Another health problem that can occur from obesity is children having high levels of cholesterol. A doctor can detect aortic fatty streaks, which is the first stages of atherosclerosis as early as three years of age (Kendall, 2004). The affects on a child's body due to him or her being obese can be damaging and can last for the rest of their lives.

Impact mentally

Mentally an obese child goes through so much abuse not only from parents but also from other children that they know and the media. At school children will often tease overweight children, pick them last for sports, and even exclude them from hanging out with groups because of the extra weight they carry around. A study done by Buckmaster & Brownell says that even colleges are more likely to overlook obsess students to the more fit ones (1988). Can you imagine what that would do to a person if they were passed up for a place at a good college just because he or she was obese? How would that make a person feel? Not only would that make a person feel stupid but also not good enough and possibly suicidal.

Ways to counteract the impact

Habits; be them bad or good start at a very young age. A good way to ensure that a child does not become overweight and on to obese is to make healthy habits while they are young so it becomes second nature to him or her when he or she gets older. Instead of feeding a child cookies and cake, give them fruit or raw vegetables with a good healthy dip. Children love food that is colorful so if a parent puts some apples slices with peanut butter in front of them nine out of tem times, that child is going



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