Analysis of Childhood Obesity in America Essay

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The overall rate of obesity for children comes in at 17 percent, or about 12.5 million obese children in America today (Doheny 1). The number of children who are obese is growing at a fast rate. Most cases of childhood obesity are caused by eating too much and exercising too little. Extra weight puts children at a risk of serious health problems; such as, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma (Smith 1). Although obesity can be prevented, it has become a growing problem among children due to several factors that lead to health problems. Obesity is defined as excess body fat. Body fat can be difficult to measure directly, so obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI). The United States government states that each individual should …show more content…
During the school day, few students actually get the recommended amount of physical activity time (Noonman 1). Many schools are eliminating or cutting back their physical education programs. Rob Goblin, a New York City sports medicine doctor and author of Dr. Rob’s Guide to Raising Fit Kids, says “maybe 40 to 50 percent of schools, at best, come close to the requirement” (1). The second leading cause of childhood obesity is food. Children need enough food to support healthy growth and development; however, when children consume more calories than they burn throughout the day, the result is weight gain (Smith 2). Food can cause childhood obesity because of many reasons. For instance, families are cooking less, food portions are bigger than they use to be, and there is easy access to high-calorie food items (Smith 2). There are 300,000 fast food restaurants in the United States. A few typical fast food menu items without sides and drinks include a McDonalds Big Mac (540 calories and 29 grams of fat), a Burger King Whopper (670 calories and 40 grams of fat), a Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe Double (880 calories and 52 grams of fat), and a Taco Bell Nachos Bell Grande (770 calories and 24 grams of fat). These foods are highly processed and contain overwhelming amounts of fat, calories, and sodium (Muntel 1). Every day, nearly one-third of the United States youth eats fast food, which adds about six extra pounds per child per year (Holguin 1).

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