OBESITY - Essay Example

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Fast food is generally considered unhealthy food. Yet Americans depend heavily on such foods to satisfy their dietary requirements. The convenience of drive- through windows and fast food restaurants has suited the demands on today’s families. However with the awareness of the increasing problem of obesity in children and the push to lead healthier lifestyles, fast food chains began advertising healthier food such as salads and fruit cups…
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Download file to see previous pages By increasing awareness of the obesity epidemic in America we can begin to reverse the trend in weight gain. We need to re-evaluate the importance of healthy eating due to obesity that has become the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. It is strongly recommended that the government should enforce strict physical education program and dietary restriction in all schools to control the prevalence of obesity in the society. Nutritionists and researchers attribute poor dietary habits and lack of exercises as the major causes of obesity in the society (Bernard, 2007). These detrimental habits develop in the early stages of child development especially in schools. Therefore teaching the children early about obesity, benefits of exercises and healthy eating habits could play a major role in reducing incidents of obesity later in their lives. One of the challenges in this thesis is the fact that home environment plays a significant role in encouraging obesity and it is beyond the government control .In order to motivate schools and homes to control this rise in obesity in children, it is important to provide teachers and parents with reliable information on what obesity actually is, how it affects the children and how to treat it. Obesity is defined in terms of body mass index (BMI), with the following quantities - DBMI 25-30 = overweight, BMI 30+ = obese and BMI 40+ or 100+ pounds over recommended weight = morbidly obese. As The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2008)explains, obesity in not just a few extra pounds of weight that a person has, but it may indicate a problem developing. They explain that a “child is not considered obese until the weight is at least 10% higher than what is recommended for the height and body type”. Obesity can begin early, ages five and six. The frequency of the incidence of obesity in adolescents also is a cause of concern and indication of the need for addressing the issue. Figures for occurrence have been given by various concerned parties, particularly for the US. However the issue is a global one. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry quotes figures between 16 and 33% of children and adolescents as being obese. Likewise, research has indicated that parents with obesity increases child's chances to also manifest the same chronic illness by 50 to 80% (AACAP, 2008). More detailed statistics are provided by Lawrence et al (2010) who show that the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents as being three times higher than it was in the 1980s. They show by their figures how the problem is growing. According to their figures, prior to the 1980s the percentage of overweight and obese children was only 6.5% for children and 5% for adolescents. By 2004 however these figures increased to 18.8 % and 17.4 % respectively. In addition to these figures, 31% of children under age 18 are at risk of being overweight. Causes of Obesity: Poor eating habits and lack of exercise are the two most commonly suggested causes of obesity. In addition, The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests other factors including some medical illnesses such as endocrine or neurological problems and some ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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