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Childhood Obesity

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Roman Meza

Mrs. Mata

Senior Project

16 April 2010

Childhood Obesity

Starting healthy eating habits and taking exercising seriously, all things that most people of today's society do not take seriously. Some 33% of US children today are facing weight problems, most in between the ages of 6-11 years old. Most people do not understand how this is one of today's major conflicts in which America takes little notice upon. The numbers of children who are overweight or obese has nearly tripled since 1980 and is still increasing. Most parents these days do not pay much attention of what their children eat throughout the day. Instead of cooking a healthy meal at home, they choose to feed their children fast foods since it is more convenient. Children would rather play video games instead of being active outside with their friends like participating in after school sports. Overweight children have significantly impacted today's society, for many children are becoming more inactive while neglecting a healthy lifestyle, proper diet and exercise will help reduce the chances of children becoming overweight.

Most cases of obesity are started at an early age. The way children eat during their childhood is what causes them to become obese or not. It is said that, "Obesity is a common nutritional disturbance in children and challenging health problem for health care providers" (Keller 1). This symptom as a whole is a problem not only for the child, but it also has an effect on others who try to come up with ways to prevent obesity from occurring as well. This is a huge problem in today's society and it seems as though, America does not want to take action upon it when in reality it is not so hard to prevent. If parents start off their children with vegetables and other healthy foods, then they would not have to worry about their child becoming obese. These types of foods are beneficial to their body and they need these It was said that, "Research over the past four decades suggests that childhood is a period when dietary and lifestyle patterns are initiated that have implications for coronary heart disease (CHD) and other morbidity risk in later adult life" (Keller 1). This means that the root of obesity is started at childhood, in this phase of life children start to decide what they like to eat, how much they want to eat, and when they choose to eat. These patterns are imbedded in the child's mind making it become a habit to eat the way they eat. Now if parents were to just simply set limits as to how much they eat and what they can decide to eat, then childhood obesity in some cases would be easily avoided.

In addition, if parents and teachers do not choose to take apart in their child/student's health, the child will be set along beside many risks that come with being obese. In fact, "Some data show that particular patterns of body fat distribution increase coronary heart disease (CHD) risk in children" (Keller 4). This is just one of the many risks that can occur in the body of an unhealthy child. It was exclaimed in a scholarly journal that there are other serious diseases such as, type 2 diabetes, hyperllpidemia, hypertension, and dysilipidemia (Singhal 1). The lack of physical activity and poor nutrition intake can later on cause any of these serious diseases to form down the line. Type 2 diabetes is the most common in the United States amongst all the other diseases one can get from being obese. United States. This just shows how the lives of children are being put at stake when they are suffering from obesity. Severe health problems will occur if a child is not given support to change the way they eat and live their lives. Maintaining a healthy diet and life is key to avoid obesity, but if children are permitted to make their own decisions as to what it is they eat, then they will not benefit from what they take in. It was stated in a periodical that there are other risks that can develop in a child at an early age, some being diabetes, increase in cholesterol, orthopedic problems in the knees and back, and lastly asthma (Pediatrics 1).

Not only have the number of risks increased throughout the years, but rising statistics have shown that parents can be causes of obesity. It was stated in a scholarly journal that when two parents are obese there is a 80% chance that the child will also be, when one parent is obese the chances of the child becoming overweight is basically cut in half resulting in a 40% chance, and lastly when neither of the parents are obese then the child has a 7% percent chance (Keller 1). When there is a mother who was already obese before labor, the child will have 2.5 times the chance of also turning out to be the same. It was stated that, "Over the past 20 years, the number of children who are overweight has increased by more than 50% and the number of extremely overweight children has nearly doubled" (Pediatrics 1). This proves to show just how horrible this problem has become. Most people these days live unhealthy lifestyles and this gets passed down to their children. They look at what and how their parents eat and think to themselves "Well it must be right if this is how my parents are eating", this results in the copying of bad habits while not knowing that it is not benefiting them. For instance, " These include feeding practices handed down from grandmothers, the stereotype that fat babies are healthy babies, use of food to quiet and satisfy the infant, (including bottle dropping)" (Keller 5). These are known to be ways for a mother to quiet down their babies, when in actuality mothers should not have to use food in order to get their child to calm down. Pacifiers can be an alternative to this stereotype that all these little things add up to an unhealthy lifestyle and parental values are the basis of these effects. Parental obesity plays a major risk as to what will the child look like as they get older, however it does not mean the child cannot change the way he/or she lives their lifestyle as appose to their mother and fathers'. Children make the decision for themselves and as they grow up they determine what is right from wrong, but it is up to the parents to be a good example and set limits as to what their children can decide to eat at an early age. It was stated that children know when they are ideally obese is when they are overweight for their height (Pediatrics 1). When children are 20% or more over what they should weigh than they should take into consideration as to what and how much they eat. A way to identify if a child is becoming obese is when they start to develop skin folds, when this happens parents should modify their



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