Child Obesity Essay

2203 words - 9 pages

Childhood Obesity

In today's society childhood obesity is considered to be an epidemic. The increase in obesity is not caused by the change in the gene pool, but rather by the change in the environment. This causes vulnerable populations to express the obesity phenotype (Stune, 1999). One in seven children ages 6-17 are considered to be obese. Most nutritionists will say that this is do to the lack of parental guidance. A child's parents should teach their child proper eating habits so that they won't run across problems in the future (Tomlin, 1999). According to the article Facts about childhood Obesity and Overweightness, obese children are statistically not ...view middle of the document...

The average teen drinks almost 65 gallons of soft drinks annually; school-age children have more than doubled their consumption of these beverages in the past two decades. Children also eat a lot of fast-food, which tends to be high in fat and calories (Miller 5). Inactivity most likely to blame Weight control involves balancing food intake with the energy burned in everyday activities. Although diet is a factor, low levels of physical activity may play a greater role in childhood obesity than eating lots of high-calorie food. Why are children today less active? Many blame increased television viewing. Watching TV doesn't require much energy and often is accompanied by snacking on high-calorie foods. The American Heart Association reports that, on average, children watch 17 hours of television a week. And that's not counting the time spent playing video and computer games. One study found the odds of being overweight were nearly five times greater for youth watching more than five hours of television per day compared with those who watched from zero to two hours per day (Mayohealth.org 1997). According to a 1996 U.S. Surgeon General's report on fitness, nearly half of young people ages 12 to 21 are not vigorously active. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that, due to financial constraints, only one-third of schools now offer physical education classes and many children today find team sports too competitive or costly to join (Mayohealth.org 1997). Childhood Obesity 4 Heredity has strong influence The risk of becoming obese is greatest among children who have two obese parents. Danish adoption records provide a unique perspective on the issue of heredity versus environment when studying obesity in children. Researchers studied 540 adopted Danish children, who are now adults. The scientists wanted to know if weights of the children were closer to their biological or adoptive parents. They found no relationship between the weight of the adoptive parents and adopted children. But there was a strong link between the weight of the adopted children and their biological parents, even though 90 percent of the children had been adopted before the age of 1 (Miller 10). The researchers concluded that genetic factors are important in determining obesity in adults. And when a genetic tendency is combined with habits that promote weight gain, it's more likely that a child will be overweight. Important: If obesity is common in your family, pay extra attention to diet and exercise (Miller 11). Effects of Obesity Obesity as a child will lead to health problems in the future as one enters adulthood. Obesity is strongly linked to cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes. This disorder also will cause some forms of cancer , hypertension, and also Arthritis. Another consequence of obesity is the effects it has on the skin. Cardiovascular disease A major health risk that occurs from obesity is cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that if a child is...

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