Obesity Friend Or Foe Essay

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Obesity: Friend or Foe?
Child and youth obesity is a growing problem in America, and it has grown considerably in recent years. Just having a few extra pounds does not automatically label a child or adolescent as obese, but it could suggest he/she could easily gain weight. Many people today would say that an overweight child is simply going through a phase, and as he/she gets older he/she will lose the extra pounds, or some might even say that if the child is happy then why does it matter. The reality is that even though childhood obesity is complex, the causes and effects are similar to those of adults. With so many children and youth suffering from obesity it is easy to see that it is an immense problem, and there are several reasons as to
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High cholesterol or high blood pressure is often thought of as an adult problem, sadly kids can suffer from it too. The reality is that in recent years high cholesterol and high blood pressure can be found in obese children. For example, Alex, who at age 7 started gaining weight, but with the help of her mom, Tammy Benton, and a pediatrician she was able to eat healthier “I didn’t talk ‘diet to her,” Benton recalls. While working with the pediatrician Alex did lose some weight, but gained it all back, and by the age of 14 she weighed 320 pounds, and had been taking medication to lower her high cholesterol from the age of 8 (Doheny, par. 1-4). In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Cardiovascular diseases are not the only diseases that overweight children can suffer from. Diseases such as, prediabetes, bone or joint problems, and even certain types of cancer are all possibilities. If nothing is done to change the obesity in children, it could follow them into adulthood along with many adult health …show more content…
According to an analysis led by researchers at the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. The estimated price when comparing the lifetime medical cost of an obese child to those of a normal weight child is $19,000 per child. In the United States itself, it is estimated that for just the cost of obese 10 year olds the cost was a total of $14 billion and it only includes the direct medical costs, such as, doctor visits and medications. It is also estimated that it costs a total of $12,900 per normal weight child growing up to being obese or overweight (Chan, par. 6). Medical costs due to obesity are expected to rise, especially if the same obese children grow up to be obese adults. As of now it is estimated that the annual health care cost of obesity-related illnesses is about 21% or $190.2 billion of the annual medical spending in the United States (N.p, par 1). There has also been a rise of job absenteeism, due to obesity related diseases, which is costing businesses an estimated $4.3 billion annually. The numbers will only continue to rise if the amount of obese or even normal weight children grow to be obese adults (N.p, par. 3). If more people go on disability due to the illnesses that obesity causes the more it will affect those who are left working.

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