The health issues. Obesity is growing dangerously fast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

The
Dangers of Childhood Obesity

Amanda B.

Betsch

Grand
Canyon University: ENG-106

Sunday,
December 6, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The
Dangers of Childhood Obesity

 “The
rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk”
(8), said secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Childhood obesity has become a considerable issue that
can and will be detrimental to many children and their health later on in
life.  It is an epidemic that has been steadily
increasing over the years.  The
widespread outbreak of childhood obesity is extremely unhealthy as well as
unsafe.  Obese children are “more likely to develop non-communicable diseases
like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age” (5), as well as insulin resistance,
asthma, sleep apnea and other health issues. 
Obesity is growing dangerously fast in the United States.  Childhood obesity affects over 4.5 million
children and puts them at risk for health issues, many of which are associated
with depreciated life expectancy. 

Obesity can be seen simply as weight gain, and although
this is true, it is also much more than that. 
Such drastic and massive weight gain comes with consequences.  In order to see what percentage of someone’s
body is fat, there are several tests that can be executed. The most common methods
are “techniques such as BMI, or body mass index, waist circumference, and
skin-fold thickness” (5).  Children require a healthy diet and active lifestyle
in order to grow.  Obesity prevents
children from growing stronger and developing into young adults as they
should.  Healthy lifestyles are becoming
scarcer as time progresses and as technology advances, people are no longer
required to do work.  The culture,
especially in America, is a fast-paced environment while demanding minimal
effort.  It is a societal goal to get the
most work done with the least amount of effort making people inactive and
lazy.  People would prefer to drive to
the coffee shop around the corner rather than take a five-minute walk.  This type of culture aids in the growth of the
frightening obesity epidemic.  Close to
20% of children between the ages of two and nineteen are obese, and although
the rates in recent years have slowed, the numbers are still on the rise. (7)  

Although obesity in children is an unmistakable
dilemma, it is often a misunderstood concept. 
Many blame extensive weight gain only on the number of calories one is
eating, however, obesity can be brought about by a plethora of causes – surroundings,
genetics, lifestyle, or even culture. 
Children are bombarded with unhealthy foods and new and improved ways to
increase lethargy every day.  Schools
sell candy, carbs, and cans of soda.  Physical
education is only required once or twice a week in many schools and often
times, active exercise is replaced with a game of stand-still dodgeball.  Children are put in situations that discourage
health and fitness.  Not only are
lifestyle and culture causes of weight gain, genetics are also a factor in
childhood obesity.  Some children,
however, might merely be cursed with unfortunate genetics where easy weight
gain is part of their make-up, however, genetics is not the leading cause of
childhood obesity.  The leading cause of
childhood obesity is the lifestyle of many families.  In many cases, a lifestyle change would make
a colossal difference in one’s weight. 
Lifestyle and culture go hand in hand. 
The American culture of getting what one wants when one wants it only
adds to the lack of a healthy lifestyle. 
Simply taking a few extra minutes to walk more often, take the stairs as
opposed to the elevator, ride a bicycle to school rather than the bus, or eat
fewer desserts would be a start to a fitter life and lower health risks.  Not only does obesity affect children’s
health physically, but it can also affect them emotionally or mentally.  Many obese children struggle with low
self-esteem, depression, and lower quality of life. (3) 
Although these are worrisome ramifications, the physical health
consequences are far more alarming.  These
health risks can be detrimental to children especially after they have grown,
as many of the effects lead to a declining life span.  These circumstances “include,
but are not limited to, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes,
asthma, hepatic steatois (fatty liver disease), cardiovascular disease, high
cholesterol, cholelithiasis (gallstones), glucose intolerance and insulin
resistance, skin conditions, menstrual abnormalities, impaired balance, and
orthopedic problems” (3).  The top three
reoccurring medical worries are diabetes, sleep apnea, and cardiovascular
disease.  As more extensive research is
surfacing, it has been proven that children are beginning to experience these
conditions at a young age. 

The
question that needs to be addressed while regarding childhood obesity is: who
is to blame?  There is not one answer for
this question.  Many could and should
take responsibility for the outbreak of overweight children.  The children are partially to blame, although
they definitely have reasons.  Children
should watch what they eat and be health-conscious.  Unfortunately, this is not a trait many
children learn on their own – they need parents or someone in charge to guide
them.  Parents should strive to teach
their sons and daughters how to grow up living a healthy lifestyle, setting
them up for success in the future.  It is
also the fault of society as a whole.  Society
promotes the body image of skinny and fit celebrities or models, yet everywhere
outside there are fast food restaurants, places to buy candy, and inventions to
aid in laziness.  This epidemic shows
that there are certain aspects of our culture and society that could be
improved.     

Childhood
obesity is a dangerous and prevalent issue that causes many dangerous health
problems.  In today’s society, being
overweight is not uncommon, and it is being pushed to be accepted.  There are many movements about body
positivity that can blind many to the harsh truth of the consequences of an
unhealthy lifestyle.  Although it is
extremely positive to have a confident view of oneself and body, it is wise to
make an effort to maintain good health and care for one’s body because remember
– it is the only one you will ever get. 

 

 

References

1.    
Childhood
Overweight. (n.d.). Retrieved December, 2017, from
http://www.obesity.org/obesity/resources/facts-about-obesity/childhood-overweight

2.    
Karnik,
S., & Kanekar, A. (2012, January). Childhood Obesity: A Global Public
Health Crisis. Retrieved December, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3278864/

3.    
Lossing,
C. B. (2010). Childhood Obesity:
Prevention & Intervention .

Retrieved December, 2017, from http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010=psycdsp

4.    
M.

(2015, December 25). Marvel. Retrieved December, 2017, from https://marvelessay.com/childhood-obesity-essay/

5.    
Sahoo,
K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sofi, N. Y., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. S.

(2015). Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Retrieved December, 2017,
from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408699/

6.    
Sahoo,
K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sofi, N. Y., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. S.

(2015). Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Retrieved December, 2017,
from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408699/

7.    
The
State of Childhood Obesity. (n.d.). Retrieved December, 2017, from https://stateofobesity.org/childhood-obesity-trends/

8.    
TOP
25 QUOTES BY TOM VILSACK (of 72). (n.d.). Retrieved December, 2017, from http://www.azquotes.com/author/15095-Tom_Vilsack

9.    
What
is Childhood Obesity? Who is at Risk? (n.d.). Retrieved December, 2017, from http://childhoodobesityfoundation.ca/what-is-childhood-obesity/

10. 
Wieting,
J. M. (2008, October 01). Cause and Effect in Childhood Obesity: Solutions for
a National Epidemic. Retrieved December, 2017, from
http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2093529