* Childhood obesity, which can be defined as an excess amount of body fat and body weight at least twenty percent higher than a healthy weight for a child of the same height, is now among the most wide spread medical problems affecting children and adolescents in the United States ("Centers for Disease Control and Prevention", 2012). Obesity during middle childhood can have a profound effect on a child’s life. Obesity increases a child’s risk for diseases associated with obesity, and it can also create problems with psychosocial and cognitive development ("Centers for Disease Control and Prevention", 2012).
* Childhood obesity can be the result of different factors. In general, a child who regularly consumes more calories than they use will gain weight. If this behavior is sustained; a child will become obese over time. The cause of childhood obesity has been linked to genetic factors, dietary habits, and physical environment ("Mayo Clinic", 2012). Obesity tends to run in families and a child who has obese parents is more likely to be obese ("Mayo Clinic", 2012). According to "Aspe.hhs.gov" (2012), “Evidence from twin, adoption and family studies strongly suggests that biological relatives exhibit similarities in maintenance of body weight, and that heredity contributes between five and 40 percent of the risk for obesity” (Childhood obesity).
* Dietary patterns and habits are another factor that is contributing to the increase in middle childhood obesity. Children and adolescents are eating more food away from home, drinking more sugar-sweetened drinks, and snacking more frequently. Foods that are convenient to obtain and serve are the main criteria for food choices which lead more and more people to consume high fat, low cost, low nutritional fast foods. High calorie, low nutritional snacks are readily available to children and have contributed to childhood obesity problems. According to "Aspe.hhs.gov", “Daily total energy intake that...