The Importance Of Childhood Obesity

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What is Childhood Obesity?
The prevalence of obesity in America has risen over decades, specifically, childhood obesity. According to the American Heart Association, currently “about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate in 1963” (“What is Childhood Obesity?”). In addition, 30 percent of children are affected by obesity, making it the most common chronic disease of children (“Obesity Action Coalition”). Childhood obesity is a serious dietary medical condition that occurs when a child is well above the normal weight and height of his or her age. In order to classify a child as overweight or obese, there are a number of aspects that are taken into consideration such as weight, height, age, and gender,
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But without the comparison of BMI with other children of the same age and gender, the results may not always be accurate. Although two children can be at an unhealthy weight and both have high percentages of body fat, they can still be classified differently. One can be classified as obese and the other as overweight. For example, two 10 year old boys who each have a high percentage of body fat, one with a “BMI of 23”, the other with a “BMI of 21” are not both considered obese (“ About Child & Teen BMI”). The boy with the BMI of 23 would be considered obese because his BMI is at or above the 95th percentile (“About Child & Teen BMI”). Though, the boy with the BMI of 21 would be placed in the overweight category because his BMI is at the 85th percentile (“About Child & Teen BMI”). Even though BMI is calculated as weight divided by height, it is interpreted differently for children and teens (“About Child & Teen BMI”). Due to changes in body fatness among children and teens, their BMI levels need to be expressed analogous to other children of the same age and gender (“About Child & Teen BMI”). On the contrary, an adult’s BMI is interpreted differently. Unlike children, an adult’s BMI calculation is based upon weight status that is not dependent on age or gender (“About Child & Teen

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