Annapolis valley health initiative Essay

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It is evident that obesity is an international and complex problem. More people are overweight or obese in today’s society than ever before, putting those individuals at high risk for serious health problems (WHO, 2000). Perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that child obesity is now being considered an epidemic, with Canada nearing the top of the obesity charts. Out of 34 nations, Canada is ranked 5th in terms of obesity rates with 15% of the population considered overweight and 11% obese. The number of children who are overweight has doubled in the last two decades with one in four Canadian children being overweight (Anderson, 2000; Tremblay & Willms, 2001). For the first time, children are expected to live shorter lives than their parents because of obesity. Between the years 1981 to 1996, the prevalence of overweight boys increased from 15% to 35.4%, and among girls, from 15% to 29.2%. During the same time frame, the prevalence of obesity in children tripled from 5% to 16.6% for boys and from 5% to 14.6% for girls (Tremblay & Willms, 2001). A major concern regarding childhood obesity is that obese children tend to become obese adults, putting them at greater risk for developing obesity-related health problems in the future. Childhood obesity is related to various physical, psychological, and social consequences that have a negative impact on overweight and obese children. The same health problems commonly seen in adults as a result of being overweight are now showing up in overweight children. Thus, like adults, overweight and obese children are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Type II Diabetes, sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea), asthma, orthopedic problems, and other chronic diseases compared to their average weight counterparts (Freedman, Dietz, Srinivasan, & Berenson, 1999; Must & Strauss, 1999). This also has

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