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Childhood Obesity. What still needs to be done to fix the problem - Essay Example

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Childhood Obesity. What still needs to be done to fix the problem

The Issue Child obesity is assessed in terms of published guidelines of body mass index. As Ferry points out, child obesity is a condition where a child’s body weight is 20% more than actually needed height according to BMI criteria, or body fat percentage is 25% above in boys and 32% above in girls. The condition is again defined as “the presence of excessive accumulations of adipose tissue that interfere with child health and well-being” (Simonton 62). My research on childhood obesity is conducted in five stages; the reasons behind the health issue, the intensity of the issue, the possibility of any shortcoming in the current health policies, the effects of obesity in children, and the long-term consequences of the issue. The intensity of the issue According to the latest data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “among Mississippi's children aged 2 years to less than 5 years 3, 14.9% were overweight (85th to < 95th percentile BMI-for-Age) and 13.7% were obese (? 95th percentile BMI-for-Age)” (“Mississippi's Response to Obesity..”). It must be noted that the risk of child obesity has been unequally distributed across the state. Researches indicate that certain ethnic groups are highly vulnerable to child obesity. To illustrate, children from some minority ethnic groups such as Black Caribbean and Black African are more likely to develop child obesity when compared to other ethnic groups. Causes The reasons for obesity range from lack of physical activity, variations in nutrition, environmental factors, and genetics. Although genetic factors may contribute to this disorder, sedentary lifestyle is the major cause worsening the rate of child obesity. Trost and Sirard et al have compared the levels of physical activity in overweight and non-overweight children between 3 and 5 years of age. It was found in the study that overweight children were considerably less active than their non-overweight counterparts in the preschool years. However, no such correlation was visible in the case of girls. Despite this shortcoming, the study proves that there is a relation between physical activity and obesity. Admittedly, physical activity only results in an increase in the calories used. That means if there is a rise in the calories consumed, the effects of physical activity will not be visible. As Pennings (n.d) reports, the changing environment has widened the food options available for consumption. Grocery stores have their shelves filled with a wide variety of products. In addition, there are pre-packed foods, fast food restaurants, and various energy and soft drinks. It is a known fact that these items often contain excessive levels of fat, calories and sugar. That means the people who depend on these food items regularly take excessive levels of calories. Consequences According to the findings of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obese children are “at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems” (“Childhood Obesity Facts”). Empirical evidences suggest that obese children are more likely to become obese adults and this feature adds to the severity of this disorder. Studies reveal that obese children are affected by a range of emotional as well as psychological problems. In addition, child obesity tends to develop life threatening conditions such as ...Show more
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Sharkey, Ave Clarksdale Coahoma Dec 05, 2013 Cochran, Thad The Senator, Mississippi 113 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 Dear Mr. Thad, This is to bring to your kind attention that children in many of our schools are still lacking the benefits of governmental policies on childhood obesity despite the various efforts put in this regard till date…
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