2 May 2012
Childhood Obesity on the Rise
Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the world, and is showing no sign of slowing down. Obesity is a vicious cycle that starts with simply carrying an extra five or ten pounds and leads to obesity in no time. There is less of an urge to go out and get in shape. People see it and want it, but aren’t taking the right steps to do so. With the growing attraction for television, video games, and computer use combined with the easy capability to get highly fattening foods in a quick low price, it looks like it’s going to be a problem for a long time to come. This fast food problem has become an accepted means of a meal. In his book True ...view middle of the document...
Kahan takes a technical approach as he references his medical dictionary and finds the definition of a disease:
A disease is an impairment of the body or one of its parts resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. Let's see...an impairment of the body. Check. Obesity goes way beyond its outward appearance. Most affected people develop a cluster of metabolic, hormonal and cellular disruptions -- so much so that having obesity increases the risk of dozens of other chronic diseases, and ultimately premature death....resulting from various causes. Check. Obesity doesn't just "happen." It usually results from a constellation of drivers (genetics, environment, medical disorders, stress and many others) that interact with our conscious decision-making processes, leading to the consumption of more calories than are "burned off" by movement and metabolism...characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. Check. Weight gain, difficulty moving, diminished breathing capacity, skin changes, joint pain, to name a few (Kahan).
These are all characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. I agree that obesity can cause many types of diseases; I just don’t believe that obesity is a disease itself. That is where the easy correlation and confusion arises. It can cause many different types of diseases such as Heart Disease, Hypertension, and Diabetes. Medically, obesity is no different than any other disease, so by rule of the definition, it fits all of the criteria except for one major point. Obesity is a life choice by you or in a child’s case, determined by parental guidance. As stated earlier, it is a gateway to many different types of diseases, it just isn’t simply a disease itself.
Childhood obesity is on the rise and has been that way for several years. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period (“Children”). These statistics are very alarming and can be identified, and prevented from growing simply by removing the enabling factor. These factors come in many different ways, but all are possibilities of causes.
One of the leading causes of childhood obesity is bad eating habits. Bad eating habits can be caused by various different reasons. There are causes for bad eating habits all around us. First when you go to the supermarket to buy food. What are the most expensive foods? Those would be the healthy and organic ones, so we settle for less. Consumers tend to buy the less expensive, less nutritious foods. Those foods are then brought home, consumed, and now the consumer is a little bit less...