Obesity in Children

“Obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize but the most difficult to treat” (A. A. C. A. P, 2008). You can see when a person is overweight or obese, it’s not something you can hide, but treating this condition is a lot harder. Changing your lifestyle is difficult, hence the reason so many Americans are obese. The United States was ranked 20th out of 92 in the countries with the highest childhood obesity for kids under 5. The USA has an obesity rate of 5. 6 percent while; Albania takes first place with a rate of 22. percent. A British study by Plymouth’s Peninsula Medical School shows that obese mothers are ten times more likely than an average weight mother to have obese daughters. But sons are only six times more likely to be obese when born to obese dads. “DNA is not destiny, and there is a lot a parent can do in terms of role modeling. ” (Black, 2009) Not understanding what is considered obese for children, accompanied by a lack of exercise, without a balanced diet, all contributes to the rising epidemic of obesity in children.

Obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI), for children BMI is calculated by using weight, height, and age. In children and teens a BMI of 95 percent or more is considered obese. A BMI between 85 and 95 percent is considered overweigh. In other words, 10 percent over the ideal weight for the child’s age group and height is overweight, with 20 percent over being obese. For the past 30 years, obesity or being overweight for children has doubled to 25 percent. That’s an estimated 22 million children in the America. Hawaiian children suffer double the amount of obesity in kids as the rest of the nation.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has proposed numerous ideas to reduce and prevent this weight issue. One of the ideas being that physicians should regularly check and record children’s BMI, to efficiently recognize excessive weight gain in relation to height. This is just one of the many things that can be done to prevent childhood obesity from the beginning. With the advanced technology that is available now a days, it is becoming less frequent to see children outside playing. These children prefer to play their video games and surf the internet.

Granted there are upsides to both video games and the internet. The internet can be used to do research for school papers, and to even go to school. There are educational games for every game system that can benefit the children in the long run, but with a lack of fresh air and exercise these children are growing overweight and unhealthy. In 2004 a study showed 45 percent of parents admit using some form of electronics as a babysitter (CG, 2004). Parents do this to gain more time to cook dinner for example or to get household chores done.

Whatever the reason it has become clear that not only the children, but the parents as well have neglected exercise. All the worries and fears a parent have about their children’s well being, letting them go outside alone doesn’t happen often. Not having enough time to get everything done that needs done leaves very little time to go outside with the kids. All of these situations happen on a daily basis and therefore contributing to the rise of obesity in this generation. It is said that this is the first generation in two hundred years to live a shorter life span than their parents. Belluck, 2005) Doctors understanding the time crunch that parents are in everyday have made some suggestions to help provide the exercise that both the parents and the kids could benefit from. They say taking one day a week and making it family day go to the park, a children’s gym, maybe the zoo. Getting out and walking (indoors or out) is good exercise. Other possibilities would include getting the kids into some sports after school or on the weekends. It’s important for kids to get daily exercise to keep the weight off and the kids healthy. Lastly, in conjunction with exercising eating a healthy diet can slowly eliminate obesity in time.

Learning the right way to eat and the right foods to eat is the first step to leading a healthier lifestyle. Picking foods with adequate nutrition, such as whole grains, low fat or no fat milk, and tons of protein, will lower your intake of fats and unnecessary sugars. Balancing calorie intake with how active you are is an important key, if you are consuming more calories than you are using, they become fat. Teaching and encouraging your children to eat smart sized portions and to drink lots of water can keep them healthy even if they indulge in some unhealthy foods as well.

Instead of giving children sugary sodas and Kool-Aid try teas and milk, will set the kids on the right track for their adult life’s (CDC. gov). “Many foods are considered unhealthy if you eat too much of them, even healthy foods” (P. A. M. F). Fast food is appealing to most; it’s cheap, fast, and easy. But most items are dripping with saturated oils and have barely any nutritional value. There is some menu items you can chose that are healthier. Many of the items at our local grocery stores have isles filled with highly processed and refined foods, many of the ingredients we can barely pronounce let alone have an idea of what it is.

The school systems are trying to do their part by taking out the sodas and serving healthier foods at lunch. Many people like to blame the school for their child’s weight gain, but in reality the schools are just a small part of the children’s life. Teaching the all generations that healthy foods are good for you and tasty, in doing so, we are giving these kids the skills to stay healthy and making the right food decisions for their kids, and so on and forth for many generations to come.

Eating healthier foods, while getting the recommended amount of exercise and, learning what obesity is for children can lower and eventually eliminate childhood obesity. It’s estimated that 22 million children are obese or overweight; there is 81,739,249 children under the age of 19 in 2005. (Census, 2005) This problem can be fixed; it will just take a little hard work and dedication. Teaching this generation that taking care of our bodies will healthy will help us lead long and healthy life’s, the consequence otherwise could mean death. References

Bulluck, Pam (2005), Children’s life Expectancy being cut short by Obesity New York Times http://nytimes. com/2005/03/17/health/17obese. html? _r=1 Better Heath USA, overweight and obesity in children, Immuno Laboratories, Inc. http://betterhealthusa. com/public/227. cfn Black, Rosemary, and (2009) Study: Children are likely to become overweight by mimicking behaviors of obese parent: N. Y Daily News http://nydailynews. com/lifestyle/health/2009/07/13/2009-07-13_study_children_are_likely_to_become_overweight_by_mimicki ng_behaviors_of_obese_p. html

CG News Desk (2004) Zoned-out or Zoomed-in? Does your child have an Electronic Babysitter? http://nymetroparents. com/newarticle. cfm? colid=7181 Palo Alto Medical Foundation http://pamf. org/teen/health/nutrition/fastfood. html Pruitt, David, M. D, A. A. C. A. P, (1998). Your Child: Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Development from infancy through Preadolescence New York, NY: Harper Collins. Morgan, Lisa, (2008) BMI…a weighty issue. School Nurse News 25(1), p. 6-24 http://census. gov http://cdc. gov/obesity/childhood/index. html http://downtoearth. org/health/nutrition/obesity-america


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