Childhood Obesity Essay

855 WordsMay 3, 20124 Pages
In today’s society, childhood obesity is quickly becoming an enormous epidemic in the United States today. Childhood obesity is an epidemic that many of the nation’s leading health officials believe that obesity is one of the fastest growing diseases in America. What many citizens do not realize is that childhood obesity is also a disease that can kill a person. Currently, over 9 million children in the United States are obese (Koplan et. al, 57). Currently, it is estimated that a third of all children in grades 9 – 12 don’t exercise vigorously (Statistics on Childhood Obesity, 4). Many people do not realize that there is a difference in being overweight and being obese. If a person is overweight, they a have a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the range of 25 – 29.9 and someone who is obese has a BMI of 30 or above (Statistics on Childhood Obesity, 4). A persons BMI can be calculated by dividing the person weight in kilograms by the persons height in meters squared ( BMI = weight/height) (Drucker, 2). The Body Mass Index is the common measure of how overweight a person is or how close the person is to being obese. According to the Mayo Clinic, Childhood Obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his/her age and height. Childhood Obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems such as; diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (Oct. 9, 2010) According to Stop childhood obesity.com overweight and obesity in children are significant public health problems in the United States. The number of adolescents who are overweight has tripled since 1980 and the prevalence among younger children has more than doubled. According to the 1999-2002 NHANES survey, 16 percent of children age 6-19 years are

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