Technology Augmenting Childhood Obesity Essay

1437 WordsJun 25, 20126 Pages
Jane Neuenswander ENG 122 Prof. Sarah MacDonald June 4, 2012 Technology Augmenting Childhood Obesity Our children of today are tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. John F. Kennedy, United States 35th President (1961-1963) stated “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future”, yet, something is happening to our children; an epidemic threatening the health and welfare of our leaders and role models of tomorrow, the epidemic of obesity. Childhood obesity is on the rise in the United States and is a focal concern in public health. Modern technology is facilitating obesity in children through food, television, and personal computers. The number of children being added to the obesity list has tripled since 1980 (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports, “44 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are obese or overweight” (Center for Disease Control 2012). Many factors may contribute to childhood obesity, however; this paper will focus on how technology is augmenting childhood obesity. The first thing that must be examined is obesity itself and how to evaluate and determine if a child falls into the classification as obese. Childhood obesity is the result of consuming more calories than what the body can burn off in activity. According to Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (2001, 20th ed.), obese is defined as “overweight, as defined by a body mass index (BMI) > 30”. So how is the BMI calculated for children? Unlike adults where the BMI is calculated by an equation, overweight and obesity in children is defined by percentiles. “The percentile indicates the relative position of the child's BMI number among children of the same sex and age. If a child’s BMI is higher than 85 percent of other children the same age and gender, he or she is considered overweight. If the BMI is higher

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