Childhood Obesity Epidemic In America

Childhood obesity epidemic in America is now a confirmed fact since the number of overweight or obese children has more than tripled during the last 30 years. Over the last 20 years, the prevalence of obesity in children aged 6 to 11 years has almost tripled from 6.5% to 19.6%. On the other hand, the prevalence of obesity in teenagers more than tripled from 5% in 1980 to 18.1% in 2008. When looking at the statistics, the epidemic childhood obesity is even worrying. But is obesity an American epidemic? Although childhood obesity is a very serious matter, America is not the only country where this disease tends to become epidemic. Countries all over the world encounter the same problem.

Most of the children who are obese are also facing the physical and psychological effects of it, but even so it seems that these effects have no power in preventing the epidemic childhood obesity. The fact is that more and more children are or become overweight or obese due to various reasons. The top two causes of obesity in children are the unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. A sedentary life along with a fat rich diet will also result in obesity.

The problem is now what we can do to prevent childhood obesity epidemic. What is worrying about obesity in children is that almost 70% of the children who are obese are going to remain like that also during their adulthood.

All in all, these children are at great risk of developing serious medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, fatty live, high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure. Due to the fact that most of the obese children tend to remain obese during their adulthood it is most likely that they will also develop certain health related conditions such as the coronary artery disease.

The fact that more and more children are becoming overweight and obese may have a psychological effect on them that would make them believe that there is nothing wrong with being obese. Contrary to common beliefs, children do not seem to see themselves as being unhealthy, especially if they come from families with other obese members.

The question “is obesity an American epidemic?” and loses its relevance since it is agreed that childhood obesity epidemic is something that America has to face, sooner the better. Fighting against this epidemic is however not easy. In this matter the parents have the key role. A parent should supervise his children’s diet and should stimulate him or her to be active physically. Also, the Government has tried banning unhealthy food from schools’ cafeterias as a measure to prevent childhood obesity. But losing weight is not an easy thing to do so the first to work on it are the children themselves who must be willing to live a healthier and longer life.

To conclude, childhood obesity epidemic in America has become a real threat for the American children and the first who can stop it are the parents.

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    March 2015
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