The World Health Organisation explains obesity as the accumulation of excessive or abnormal fat in the body. This excess fat is weakens ones health. The body mass index is pivotal in determining whether one is obese. A child is obese when he has weight above the normal weight estimated for his age and height. The World Health Organisation state that, in order to assess a child’s healthy weight, it is crucial to make a comparison basing on the weight of other children having a similar age and of the same gender. The centre of disease and control provide growth charts utilised by physicians in monitoring the growth of the child. The world health organisation state that children between the age of 2-19 who have a BMI greater or equal to 95thpercentile is obese (Who.int, “Childhood Obesity”).
The American heart association fact sheet indicates that among children aged between 2-19, 1 out of 6 are obese. Statistics estimate that 17.8% of the obese population are boys, whereas, 15.9% of the obese population are girls. The figures quoted by the CDC illustrates that, the proportion of children between the ages 5-17 years considered to be obese has risen in 2008/2009 compared to 1973/1974. In 2009-2010, 16.9% children and adolescents in the states were obese. Statistics show that obesity is prevalent among boys than girls (CDC.gov, “NCHS data brief.”).
There are varied reasons explaining the causes of obesity. The main cause is the unhealthy diet observed by many children coupled with low physical activity. Sedentary lifestyles such as watching TV, spending hours on mobile phone and plating video games are activities common among children of the 21 century. These activities have replaced active exercises such as swimming, playing ball or biking.