Childhood Obesity Essay

2021 words - 9 pages

Childhood Obesity

Chart 2 Prevalence and Trends… (JAMA Network)
Chart 2 Prevalence and Trends… (JAMA Network)
Obesity is a national problem that impacts many levels of our society, from how our tax dollars are spent on national initiatives (like the USDA's National School Lunch Program) to how we cope with the costs of healthcare from weight related problems. While the number of obese adults is increasing each year, a more alarming trend is the rise in obese children. As you can see from the chart below the increase from 1980 to 2004 is huge. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that about one-third of U.S. children have a ...view middle of the document...

The BMI is a single number calculated from an individual's weight to their height. The new formula was derived from statistics of multiple ethnic populations to be a more all-encompassing figure and accurate to a larger population. In general, a child with a BMI in the 85th percentile is seen to be 'at risk' of becoming obese and a child in the 95th percentile is obese (Source 6). The charts used for comparing a child's BMI to their percentile ranking are very different from adult rankings as the acceptable values move up and down during different stages in development. Children grow at different rates and need a certain amount of calories in order to avoid long-term growth difficulties (Ace, Lyles, and Stanton 16).
Chart 2 Solutions to Childhood… (naturalkidshealth)
Chart 2 Solutions to Childhood… (naturalkidshealth)
To calculate BMI, you need two values: height in inches (H) and weight in pounds (W). With this information in hand, calculate BMI with the following formula: (W * 703) / H2. This BMI formula is the same for all children, but different standards have been published for boys and girls. Looking at an example the differences between male and female development (illustrated on the charts) are clear. To calculate the BMI for an 8 year old with the height of 4ft 4in (52 inches) and a weight of 72lbs apply this formula: (72 * 703) / (52 * 52) = 18.7. If the child is male, a BMI of 18.7 places them in the 88th percentile – at risk for obesity. If the child is female, a BMI of 18.7 places them in the 84th percentile – at a healthy weight. This variation is also a good reason to look to a family physician with a full medical history before a label is placed on a child as obese.
Just identifying a child as obese can carry some of the most devastating effects of the condition – low self-esteem and depression. Once children reach the level of obese, many social and emotional problems can result. Overweight children are often the target of bullying by their peers. This bullying leads to self-esteem and depression issues that transform into social withdrawal, destructive eating behaviors and even learning disabilities. As you can see from the following chart, overweight children are a problem at all ages. The emotional problems suffered by obese children hinder their progress in losing weight and carry into adulthood with lasting consequences. As reported in Business Week, 'study after study has shown that children with low self-esteem have the Chart 1 Prevalence and Trends… (JAMA Network)
Chart 1 Prevalence and Trends… (JAMA Network)
worst outcomes on any weight-loss plan (Arnst 86).
The physical problems associated with obesity are devastating to children who suffer them and also cost our society an estimated $100 billion a year (Mayo Clinic Staff). Type-2 diabetes was once referred to as 'adult onset' diabetes but is now diagnosed in a growing number of children each year. Other physical problems that manifest in obese...

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