Childhood Obesity Essay

737 words - 3 pages

Childhood Obesity
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Obesity means a surplus amount of body fat. There is no general statement that exists on the smallest definition of obesity in adolescents and children, unlike the standards for adults. There is an increased risk for overweight children to be overweight in their adulthood. Family environment, genetic and behavior play a key role in childhood obesity. Childhood obesity increases the risk of certain psychological and medical conditions. The prevalence of obese children in the U.S. has dramatically increased in the recent years. Approximately 16% of children between 2 to 19 years have been classified as obese, according to recent reports (Ogden et al., ...view middle of the document...

Another study shows that 25% of overweight adults were obese as children. That study also concludes that when obesity begins before one reaches 8 years, it is likely to be more severe in adulthood. Finally, childhood obesity has emotional and psychological consequences. The obese children are at more risk of bullying and teasing, poor body image and low self-esteem.
Childhood obesity has no single cause; rather it is a complicated interaction of different variables. The contributing factors include behavior, certain socio-demographics, genetics and environment. Certain genetics characteristics increase a person’s susceptibility to excessive body weight, however, many genes will most likely be involved and a sturdy interaction between environment and genetics, which influences the extent of excessive body weight. In some instances, parental obesity is a greater predictor of childhood obesity than the weight status of the child alone. Several behaviors can influence weight gain among children, and they include physical activity, sedentary behaviors and nutrition (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2003). There are several environmental factors, which substantially contribute to childhood obesity, including school, home, community and childcare settings. These environments are places where children learn physical activity and eating habits. Finally, certain social economic and ethnic minority populations have increased rates of childhood...

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