Vicskeyas Faith Moore
June 19, 2011
Dr. Ed Yancey
Childhood Obesity in the Mid-South is a growing disease.
Description of Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity is defined as children having the condition of being excessively overweight (The American Heritage, 2002). The Centers for Disease Control reports that this country has been struggling with obesity for well over 20 years now and regarding childhood obesity, it is no less daunting. Data from their surveys comparing the 1970's to the 2000's show that the prevalence of obesity has increased for children of all ages at least 3 times over to about 20% of our population less than ...view middle of the document...
Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression (The American Heritage, 2002). The Centers for Disease Control reports that this country has been struggling with obesity for well over 20 years now and regarding childhood obesity, it is no less daunting. Data from their surveys comparing the 1970's to the 2000's show that the prevalence of obesity has increased for children of all ages at least 3 times over to about 20% of our population less than 19 years old (adult obesity approaches almost 35% in some states). There is an eye-opening depiction of U.S. obesity trends by state and race/ethnicity over the past 4 years. Obesity appears to be most commonly seen in the African American, Hispanic, and Native American populations and in lower income families (CDC, 2009).
Childhood obesity is mostly caused by children eating too much and exercising too little (Mayo Clinic, 2010). At many schools kids can have soda, candy and fast food for lunch. They also have fewer opportunities to exercise and play. At home, kids are spending more inactive time in front of a TV, play station or computer. When kids eat out they are surrounded by foods and drink that taste good, but are often unhealthy. Portion sizes are also continuing to increase. Fast food is no longer a treat but a regular meal for many kids. The purpose of my research is to show the factors that contribute to childhood obesity and what can be done to combat childhood obesity.
If childhood obesity continues to spiral out of control, healthcare costs for obesity related illnesses will triple to $450 million dollars a year. Among U.S. adults (gatekeepers/parents), obesity has ballooned exponentially from forty-six percent to sixty-four percent of the population between 1980 and 2000 (NCOF, 2011). The debilitating effects of obesity are wide ranging and their onset begins early in life. Juvenile diabetes and cardiovascular diseases have been rising steadily since 1980. Some of the debilitating effects of obesity for our youth range from type-2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease, several forms of cancer, kidney stones, juvenile arthritis, and sleep apnea to many other related chronic diseases. These debilitating and chronic health effects from obesity have become the second leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. behind cancer. Based on current projections these debilitating and chronic health effects will become the leading cause of death in the U.S. if left unchecked within twelve years. Obesity, outside of specific genetic issues, is very manageable and in a majority of cases preventable. In fact, obesity will surpass smoking as the number one preventable disease in the U.S. and globally in the very near future. Many of these health behavior obesity issues are environmental in nature, and can be a combination of life-style, cultural, emotional (mental health care, self-image and eating disorders), economic, and...