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ESSAY: Child Obesity (Causes, effects and solutions)

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❶Childhood obesity is a serious dilemma, and unfortunately it is common in the United States.

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There are a great deal of causes and negative effects of obesity in children, but fortunately there are also ways to hinder or even discontinue the spread of this crisis. Children are considered obese if they have a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95 th percentile for their age Bell. There are many causes for children being at or above this percentile. The main causes of childhood obesity are poor nutrition and lack of exercise. When unhealthy, fatty or sugary foods are consumed along with deficient amounts of exercise, obesity is usually the outcome.

Eating high-calorie foods regularly like fast foods, baked goods and vending machine snacks increases weight Mayo Foundation. Research shows that almost one-third of U. Fast food consumption has increased fivefold among children since Because of the abundance and availability of unhealthy foods, children are prone to becoming overweight or obese when their eating habits are not balanced with a sufficient amount of physical activity.

Technological luxuries such as televisions, computers, and video games can also contribute to childhood obesity. In United States, the average child spends over three hours each day watching television eMedicineHealth. This is time that could be spent participating in outdoor activities such as riding a bike, roller-skating, or playing soccer. Emotional issues are another cause of childhood obesity. Obesity can result from low self-esteem, depression, or dramatic life events.

Dramatic events in the lives of some children such as deaths in the family, the divorce of parents, or moving to another home can also lead to overeating. Some children overeat as a way of coping with problems in their lives or dealing with emotions like stress or boredom Mayo Foundation. Lack of financial resources can lead to childhood obesity as well.

Children raised in low-income backgrounds have a greater risk of becoming obese Mayo Foundation. Poverty may inhibit some parents from being able to provide their children with exercise and a proper nutritional diet due to a lack of time or money. Childhood obesity is thought to not only result from emotional problems, poor nutrition, or lack of financial resources, but also from genetics.

Genetics are a cause of obesity in children, because metabolic disorders can be inherited. When asked if heredity is a cause of childhood obesity, Mrs. Children of obese or overweight parents are much more likely to be overweight or obese.

Hormone imbalances, steroids, and psychological medications can cause childhood obesity, but these occurrences are very rare. Illnesses that prevent children from participating in physical activity can result in obesity on rare occasions. There are many causes of obesity in children, and with these causes come a great deal of negative effects. Obese children not only suffer from unhealthy weights, but must also contend with many other physical, mental, and emotional ailments.

Asthma, type II diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, gallbladder disease, lower body bone and joint problems, osteoarthritis, growth abnormalities, breathing problems such as sleep apnea, certain kinds of cancer, gout, rashes or fungal infections of the skin, and acne are illnesses that obese children are at risk of developing eMedicineHealth.

These effects are very serious physical problems that would likely follow an obese child into adulthood. However, obesity can have a much more devastating effect- death. Around , people die each year from health problems brought on by obesity Redbourn.

This number is overwhelmingly high. Emotional problems are another result of childhood obesity. In most cases, children who suffer from obesity have a low self-esteem, or are often depressed. Bullies often target overweight or obese children. Bullying and social emphasis on appearance can result in the low self-esteem of an obese child Mayo Foundation. This can also lead to a serious case of depression. A depressed child could act in one of two ways.

He or she may lose interest in activities, sleep more often, or cry a lot. Another reaction of a depressed child may be the concealment of his or her sadness so that he or she appears to be emotionally flat and apathetic. As mentioned before, bullying is often directed at children who are overweight or obese. Other problems like social withdrawal or disrupting class time can arise as well.

Obesity in children can cause individuals to have trouble developing social skills. These children are insecure about their outward appearance, which can make school difficult for them.

Obese children that suffer from stress and anxiety usually have trouble learning; so school-related anxiety can cause ever-declining academic performance Mayo Foundation. This results in a poor academic outlook for a child. Prevention of childhood obesity can be obtained through only a few steps; however, these steps must be followed closely in order to maintain a healthy life. A healthy diet is important in the process of preventing childhood obesity, along with an appropriate caloric intake.

The easiest way to prevent obesity is by reducing caloric intake, not discontinue eating some foods completely. Diets that forbid favorite foods are not likely to be successful AHA.

Avoid using food as a reward or a punishment Mayo Foundation. In deep reality check, the obesity in children has more than doubled and that of adolescence have tripled over more than 25 years ago. It has come to be noted that one out of six children is obese and in the same case, one out of three children is either overweight or obese.

The major cause of obesity in children and adolescence is eating too much and having limited exercise. However, this is not always apparent because some cases of obesity are brought about by genetic factors. That is, if your child has was born form a family of members who are overweight, then the child may end up being obese.

The immediate effects are; the obese adolescence may have a pre-diabetes which is a condition whereby the levels of glucose will indicate a high risk of diabetes development. Obese children and adolescence are also at a higher risk of having joints and bones complications, sleep apnea as well as some psychosocial problems like low self-esteem and stigmatization.

The long-term effects on health by obesity in childhood are; the obese children and adolescents will most likely be obese when they are grown men and women and this causes them more risk for further heart diseases, some cancer types, strokes or osteoarthritis. The other long-term effect is that obesity and overweight is usually associated with more risks for a lot of cancer types like breast cancer, gall bladder, colon, kidney, ovary, prostrate or cervix cancer.

Also the other diseases are lymphoma of Hodgkin and multiple myeloma. To prevent the occurrence of the related obesity diseases, children should practice a healthy lifestyle habits which will help to lower the risk of becoming obese and having other related diseases. This includes eating healthy and engaging in physical activities.

In the United States, schools can establish a secure and supportive environment that has policies and other practices which support the healthy behaviors.


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With obesity in children being related to many health issues, it is important that we not only stop the rise in childhood obesity, but reverse it. With their health at risk, it is imperative that we assure our children are in good physical shape and at healthy weight levels.

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The effect of obesity in children is vital. Self-esteem and confidence of the yout are usually affected. Overweight children have experienced being bullied by other kids. Consequently, depression is more often experienced by obese children.

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Childhood Obesity in US Introduction. In the US, the rate of Childhood obesity has been on a high rise over the past three decades, and today, the United States is known to have some of the most cases of obesity in a child’s life. Childhood Obesity has become an epidemic in America. Although it seems that the main concern with obesity is about external appearances, the true problem lies with the health problems associated with it. According to the CDC, obesity can lead to heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure /5(13).

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Childhood obesity. Obesity among children has become one of the greatest health challenges in the world. Childhood obesity occurs when children have excess body fat in relation to their body index as a result of the adoption of unhealthy eating behavior at an early age, making them clinically unhealthy. Conclusion Child obesity is a common problem in today’s society due to behavioral and dietary changes. It has become more common due to the increase in the risk factors that cause obesity. However, it is possible to manage the problem through adequate support and .