Childhood Obesity Essay

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Childhood Obesity in America Childhood Obesity in America over the past thirty years has made parents more aware of the importance of childhood nutrition, health, and exercise. Since the 1960’s and 70’s, there was a rapid growth rate in obesity among children and teens in America, and children are more at risk to health factors as they get older. There have been reports that stated one third of the countries children are either overweight or obese. America has put forth numerous nutritional options to help the country fight the battle against obesity. Studies show that most problems start at home with unhealthy eating, not enough exercise, or a family history of obesity. Parents are urged to develop newer habits of eating and activities to develop an overall healthier life. Children are measured by their sex, age, height, and weight, to calculate their body mass index (BMI). A child is overweight if he or she is heavier than 85 percent of other children who are the same age and height. After a child’s BMI is calculated, it is then determined if a child is average, overweight slightly, or obese. According to AAFP (2008), “13.9 percent of children two to five years of age, 18.8 percent of children six to 11 years of age, and 17.4 percent of adolescents 12 to 19 years of age in America are obese”. Many children today are at a higher risk to more life threatening health problems as they grow older, then they were thirty years ago. To name a few, some of the problems obese children face as they get older are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. High blood pressure increases the heart workload and can lead to increased arterial damage around the body. This happens when increased blood pressure scars the artery walls and causes damage. Having high blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for having a stroke. The brain

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