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Childhood Obesity in African American Children - Research Paper Example

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It is a condition whereby the body accumulates excess fats that negatively affect a child’s well-being. The condition has beset the health of many people globally. Childhood obesity affects approximately 12.2 million teenagers…
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Childhood Obesity in African American Children
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Download file to see previous pages -2004) found out that 21 percent of African Americans, 23 per cent of Mexican Americans and 14 per cent of non-Hispanic white adolescents aged 12-19 are likely to be overweight. Among children aged 6-11 years, 22 percent of Mexican Americans, 20 percent of African Americans and 14 percent of non-Hispanic white children were found to be obese (Centre for Disease Control, 2000).
The main negative effects of the condition include medical, psychosocial and economic problems. Medical impacts include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The condition causes significant economic costs. The 2003 national rate of related expenses on obesity reached 75 billion dollars in the US, with most of the funds being generated towards social programs such as medical care. Hudson (2008) asserts that the related hospital expenses for obesity related diseases among children under the age of 17 years increased from 35 million to 127 million dollars over a period of twenty years. Overweight teens, especially girls; perceive their body size as unfashionable as they cannot conform to the recent changes in lifestyles. Most of the overweight children experience social discrimination and low self-esteem because of the teasing and neglect portrayed by their colleagues. This causes stress that increases the prevalence of the condition. Obese teenagers significantly exhibit irregular school attendance. According to Geier, Foster and Womble et al. (2007) obese children missed an average of 12.2 days while those with an average weight missed an average of 10.1 days annually. This affects their performance as well as reduces their parents’ work output. According to USA Today (2011), most parents divert most of their attention in taking care of the obese children. The school systems also experience financial losses from taking care of overweight children.
The risk factors associated with childhood obesity include genetics, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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