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Health sciences and medicine : Childhood Obesity - Research Paper Example

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Health sciences and medicine : Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has serious effects over a child’s early life at school. Being one of the greatest public health concerns, it has tripled in the last 30 years. The percentage of obese children aged 6-11 in United States increased from 7% to 20% and the percentage of adolescents aged 12-19 increased from 5% to 18% over a period of 30 years, from 1980 to 2010. (CL, MD, LR, MM, & KM, 2010) There are multiple methods to calculate obesity and keep it in check but the one that works is to keep a regular check on Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person. Even in children the height to weight index is a measureable tool for figuring out if a child is underweight, overweight or normal. As children grow, their height grows and body weight increases according to their gender and stage of development. Although the calculation method for both, adults and children, is the same but interpretation of results varies. For children, the percentiles are known as best method according to World Health Organization. If the BMI exceeds 85th to 95th percentiles, than the child is considered obese while any value that lies between 5th and 75th percentile, is a normal range for a child of any gender. (CL, MD, LR, MM, & KM, 2010) Obesity is a serious problem in our society today and therefore it is essential to know its deep rooted causes. Some of the most fundamental causes of childhood obesity have been discussed below: Excess of Junk Food: The culture of Fast Food has caused more harm than good, not just to our society but to societies all around the world. Being easily available on the streets, in shops and franchises everywhere and even in school campuses, fast food is extremely popular because of its easy accessibility, good taste and suitability to the youth’s lifestyle. Schools and other learning institutions deserve a lot of blame for this phenomenon because they have been guilty of neglecting their duties of selling healthy foods at their institutions. Fast food companies have taken this opportunity to entice children and adolescents with big heavy junk meals for very cheap prices. According to Eileen Kennedy, who by profession, is a paediatric psychologist: “A common problem is that it gets to be 6 p.m., and Mom looks at Dad, and Dad's looking at the kids, and everyone is wondering what to eat that night If the solution is to drop by the fast-food restaurant around the corner, it becomes a habit and routine” (Chan, 2011) This routine is the main danger to children who, without knowing it, end up with a high calorie intake night after night. Over time, this routine causes the children to gain weight and eventually become obese. Sedentary Lifestyle: Another major contributor to obesity among children is sedentary lifestyle. Studies have revealed that children must perform any type of physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day. However, basic being aerobics was being performed by only 18% students from grade 9th to grade 12th (Centre for disease control and prevention, 2011) Schools must take up more responsibility for conducting activities that develop habits of exercise in children because the advent of console games etc has turned the lifestyle of the youth from one that was very outdoorsy to one that is very indoors. TV, console games, social media keeps the youth captivated all day long and ...Show more
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Summary

CHILDHOOD OBESITY Every year thousands of people worldwide die due to Obesity. More than being a mere condition, it has emerged as one of the solemn damages caused to human body. It’s not just being overweight but having abnormal body mass index. In simpler terms obesity can be defined as a condition in which the human body accumulates excess fat to an extent that it has negative effects over the body…
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