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Childhood Obesity In African American Children

1463 words - 6 pages

Childhood obesity is a consequential medical condition that effects the youth and adolescence of society. This disorder creates health problems that were once only seen in adults, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Although childhood obesity is a world wide issue, the percentage of overweight children differs, especially throughout the United States. Today, the greatest population suffering from this disease are African American children who reside in the southern part of the country. Parents, as well as children, continue to support unhealthy lifestyles even though they are well aware of the life-threatening diseases caused by obesity.
It is apparent that living an unhealthy ...view middle of the document...

(Torgan) In 2000, the total cost of obesity in the United States was estimated to be $117 billion. (Torgan) The amount of obese children in the United States is increasing drastically. One factor or cause of this phenomenon is unable to be isolated, because there are so many FACTORS that play a roll.
Nutrition and eating habits are an obvious reason as to why most children are becoming obese. Only 21 percent of young people eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetable each day, and nearly half of all vegetable servings are fried potatoes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) French fries are often mistaken for a vegetable, when really they acquire no nutritional value. Parents are replacing fresh vegetables with fried vegetables and assume their children are receiving the daily recommended intake. However, all of the required intakes are falling short. In 1996, only 12 percent of children were getting the daily recommendations for dairy; and only 18 percent were getting their recommended fruit intake. (USDA) The consumption of milk has decreased substantially. The production and popularity of other beverages, such as soda and juice,have taken precedence over milk. In 1977, children drank milk four times more than any other beverage they consumed. (USDA) But that statistic fell to 1.5 times that amount in 1996. (USDA) Sugary, high calorie beverages with no nutrients have taken the place of milk or water, making it easier for children to gain excess weight.
African American children who live in the south have been included in the highest percentage of obese children in the United States. Poor diets are a huge factor, but eating habits also come into effect. “Changes in children's eating patterns over the past 20 years are: increased incidence of missing breakfast, increased numbers of eating out, and increased snacking.” (Nicklas) “The highest levels of fast-food consumption in the United States is found in children and blacks living in the South.” (Drewnowski) Poverty, in several cases, is linked to obesity. “On a per calorie basis, diets that consist of grains, fish, vegetables, and fruit are far more expensive than fats, sugars, and refined grains.”(Drewnowski) When it comes to feeding your children, it’s about what you can afford rather than the quality. Drewnowski noted that access to healthier diets could be limited in low-income neighborhoods because of the availability of the food supply. (56) Eight of the ten states ranked in the Highest Poverty Rates of 2009 data were located in the southern part of the country, these included: Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Studies show African Americans have a higher high school dropout rate and lower rates of a college degree compared to any other race. On average, those who do not attain a high school degree make $18,432, those who have graduated from high school have a median income of $26, 140, compared to those who...

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