Introduction: What is Childhood Obesity?
Obesity has become a major health issue within the United States and many western countries. Of the many concerns relating to obesity comes childhood obesity which can have serious implications on the child’s health. Often times conditions known to occur predominantly in adulthood become co-morbidities in children such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
How is it Affecting Us?
Obese children are more prone to several risk factors that play a large role in our society and culture, from healthcare rates, to overall wellbeing of citizens. Children who are obese are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol. In one sample of youths 5-17 nearly 70% had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Children that are obese are also at a larger risk of bone and joint problems that could lead to knee replacement surgery, sleep apnea, and social or psychological problems which could cause poor self esteem.
Obese youth are more likely to develop adult health problems in their youth such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
What is Causing It?
Obesity in children is the result of a net gain in caloric intake amongst youth, in short dietary, genetic, and environmental roles all play a factor in a child’s obesity.
How Can We Prevent it?
- Promote healthy eating on public school campuses
- Appeal to communities to become active
- Advertise Healthy Foods
- Promote Day Cares to Provide Healthy Alternatives
- Push for more affordable healthy options
- Decrease portion sizes
- Reduce Television & Video Games and replace with more physical activities
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Any information listed in this piece is not intended to be understood as clinical advice and it is highly recommended to seek the advice of a trained physician on this matter, matters related, and emergencies. If you are currently in need of emergency medical assistance please call 911.