Generally speaking, an obese person is considered to be any individual who carries more body fat than is considered healthy for their specific gender, height, age and gender. Although obesity is typically only thought of as an adult problem, children are even more at risk. While other conditions may be easier to hide under clothing or to mask in other ways, obesity cannot be hidden under clothing and often leads to children being teased or becoming the recipient of cruel jokes perpetrated on them by their misunderstanding classmates. The negative looks and disapproving stares from other children and adults greet them each time they meet the next set of eyes. This often unconscious reaction on the part of others can contribute to severe psychological damage that lasts a lifetime. Even when the weight is defeated, these emotional scars can significantly impact the individual’s ability to achieve the kind of happiness and fulfillment that should be everyone’s right. The physical ramifications of obesity are also unacceptably great. It is a well-known fact that obesity can dramatically lower life expectancy regardless of age. With obesity now recognized as being at epidemic proportions, it is of utmost importance to identify the most prevalent causes of obesity and the most effective means of treating it to help school-age children overcome some of the social disadvantages of being overweight.
One of the most troubling aspects of obesity is its close connection with at least 30 adverse health conditions and innumerable psychological ramifications. Increasingly younger people are beginning to experience arthritis of the knees, back, hips and hands as a result of the long-term abuse their systems must endure. The risk of breast cancer is doubled for obese people as compared to those who maintain a relatively stable