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Childhood Obesity: Critical Periods for the Development and Growth of Obesity - Essay Example

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This essay outlines the danger of obesity and its consequences. Obesity is a major medical problem generally developed from our own bad habits, and it has reached epidemic proportion in the U.S., as around one-third of the population is obese based on BMI criteria…
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Childhood Obesity: Critical Periods for the Development and Growth of Obesity
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Download file to see previous pages t an "association between increased rates of weight gain during the first 4 to 24 months of life and risk of overweight during later childhood or early adulthood" (Dennison et al). All these years focus of obesity research has been on environmental factors that promote inactive life style and excess energy intakes and studies to locate variety of factors influencing childhood obesity, such as malnutrition, dietary habits of parents, food choice, as well as critical pathways of childhood overweight continuing into adulthood obesity has not been thoroughly explored.
Prevalence of Childhood Obesity
In the United States "more than 65% of adults are overweight or obese", with nearly 31 percent adults meeting criteria for obesity, and "approximately 16% of childhood and teens ages 6 through 19 are overweight." (A Report of the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, 2004)
Statistical evidence show that, since 1970, prevalence of obesity has more than doubled for preschool children (aged 2-5) and adolescents (aged 12-19) and more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. (Overview of the IOM's Childhood Obesity Prevention Study). Research findings suggest that lack of physical activity, sedentary behavior, parental obesity, socioeconomic status, eating habits, and environmental factors, as well as genetic and metabolic conditions are coincident with the increased incidence of overweight. In addition, socioeconomic development and global changes in diet and behavioral patterns, namely intake of diet rich in fat, salt, sugar, and calorie, depending more on transportation than walking for attending school, office, and visiting friends and relatives, and drop in sports and games have promoted overweight in younger generations.
Overweight children are vulnerable to developing many...
This essay "Childhood Obesity: Critical Periods for the Development and Growth of Obesity" describes the several studies on obesity and different causes of obesity. In the United States “more than 65% of adults are overweight or obese”, with nearly 31 percent adults meeting criteria for obesity, and “approximately 16% of childhood and teens ages 6 through 19 are overweight.” (A Report of the NIH Obesity Research Task Force, 2004)
Statistical evidence show that, since 1970, prevalence of obesity has more than doubled for preschool children (aged 2-5) and adolescents (aged 12-19) and more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. (Overview of the IOM’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Study). Research findings suggest that lack of physical activity, sedentary behavior, parental obesity, socioeconomic status, eating habits, and environmental factors, as well as genetic and metabolic conditions are coincident with the increased incidence of overweight. In addition, socioeconomic development and global changes in diet and behavioral patterns, namely intake of diet rich in fat, salt, sugar, and calorie, depending more on transportation than walking for attending school, office, and visiting friends and relatives, and drop in sports and games have promoted overweight in younger generations.
Overweight children are vulnerable to developing many health conditions and diseases, such as: Insulin resistance; Type 2 diabetes; Hypertension, early onset of puberty, infertility, orthopedic problems, eating disorder, sleep interruption, and cardiovascular disease.
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