Essay about Childhood Obesity : A Growing Nation 's Concern
The rising rate of childhood obesity has become a growing nation’s concern and the rates of young children becoming obese is a public health problem. The American norm for a child is to eat unhealthy snacks and meals and decreased physical activity. Given the rising rates of childhood obesity, this brief presents policy options to alleviate childhood obesity.
The term obesity is used to refer to children and youth between the ages of 2 and 18 years who have body mass indexes (BMI) equal to or greater than the 95th percentile of the age-and-specific BMI charts developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 In the last 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled and it now affects 17% of all children and adolescents.1 Having a healthy diet pattern and regular physical activity is important for long term health benefits and prevention of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.1 Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. 1 Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s…