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Childhood Obesity

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Childhood Obesity

Obesity is a serious medical condition that is defined as an abnormal constant accumulation of excess body fat that are usually twenty percent or more of a persons average body weight, according to PubMed Health (Obesity in Children) September 2011. Children are the biggest targets of this deadly disease of being overweight. In the U.S. childhood obesity has been on an alarming high rate, which has been impacting the health of American people. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004, childhood obesity is one of the most significant health issues in the American Society and the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Childhood obesity is a very serious disease that impacts many children and should not be taken lightly, its time that people put forth the effort to take preventive measures in the cure of the deadly disease. More focus is needed to help prevent childhood obesity from everyone parents, guardians and the government. People need to be aware of the risk and consequences of being obese and overweight in children before it is to late and their children become one of those statistics. Therefore, everyone toward fighting this deadly disease of childhood obesity needs a greater attention to put this to the forefront of government issues.

According to PEW Research Centers 2011, children and teenagers are developing diseases that have been linked to adults for many years. Many children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to develop serious health related diseases such as strokes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Along with the many diseases that come from being obese and overweight, childhood obesity can also lead to children becoming depressed due to how they look compared to their peers that can result in low self esteem. Obesity is currently on the rise of 300,000 deaths per year in the United States and costing the national economy over $100 billion annually.

More than 15 percent of the American population under the age of 18 years old is victimized by obesity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are many factors that cause children to become obese and overweight such as; diets, lack of exercise, family history, psychological factors, family factors and socioeconomic factors. An article posted from CNN by Emanuella Grinberg dated February 2012; nearly 40% of children in Georgia are obese or overweight. The second highest rated state for children being obese or overweight is Georgia. Nearly half of the people that live in the state of Georgia do not consider child obesity a problem. According to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, 75% of parents of obese or overweight children do not think they have a problem with fighting this deadly disease.

Many people use poverty as the reason for childhood obesity. In an article (The True Cost of Healthy Eating) by Timi Gustafson R.D, a book author, health counselor and a dietitian did research that showed that the true cost of healthy eating is not as expensive as most people would believe. The common argument why Americans do not eat better is that healthy food cost too much. A study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) attempts to disagree with the widely held brief of comparing prices of healthy and less healthy food. By analyzing the cost of calories per edible gram and per average serving sizes, some highly nutritious foods such grains, vegetables, fruits and diary products turn out to be cheaper than protein foods like processed items and meats, that are typically higher in saturated fats, added sugars and sodium. During the study, researchers looked into about 4,500 different food items. Dietary Guidelines for Americans of 2010 defined healthy foods as products containing at least half a serving of one of the major food groups that include vegetables, fruits, grains, diary and proteins and only moderate amounts of saturated fats, along with added sugars and sodium.

The most significant factor that causes childhood obesity is energy imbalance, which consists of lack of physical activities and poor dieting. Energy imbalance is defined as too much energy consumed



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