Epidemic Obesity And Childhood

Epidemic obesity is quickly becoming a major concern for a number of Western countries including the United States. Obesity is defined for children based on a body mass index, or BMI. This index is a relative measure of height and weight that is used to determine into what category of weight a child falls. This method is generally accepted as the most effective in defining the limits of epidemic childhood obesity. The calculation of a person’s BMI is non-invasive and has a direct correlation with the level of fatness in the body, but it does not directly calculate this aspect. BMI is relative to a person’s peers and childhood obesity is currently defined as being at or lower than 95 percent of a person’s peers. In most case obesity begins around the ages of 5 or 6 as children are allowed to be more in control of what they eat at these ages. Additionally, it is at this time that most children start school and are more apt to increase sugar intake without having the watchful eyes of a parent present.

While the prevalence of an epidemic obesity is occurring all over the world, nowhere is this more true than the United States. A dramatic increase in the ingestion of foods that have less nutrients but more calories is one reason that is making obesity an American epidemic. It is a common misconception that this problem is limited to the United States. Other countries and regions such as China, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe are also experiencing high levels of increase in childhood epidemic obesity. It is easy recognizes, but treating the condition is another matter. In the case of the American issue, the epidemic can be directly related to food intake and the abysmal lack of exercise in youths. An increasing number of children who watch television or play video games instead of engaging in physical activity are making obesity among children more common and more acceptable socially. Educating children about the dangers of obesity is one way of treating this problem.

In the long term, obesity creates many additional problems apart from the social stigmata that an obese child experiences. It is estimated that greater than 300,000 deaths per year are related to excessive weight gain because of limited exercise and poor eating habits. This translates to a societal cost of roughly $100 billion each year. The problem of epic obesity starts at early ages and mindful parents should be aware of how a child’s weight is progressing. A child who is currently obese between 10 and 13 stands an 80 percent chance of remaining obese through adulthood. The causes of obesity begin with bad eating habits, but may also include the following factors: binge eating, limited exercise, family history, illnesses, medications, life trauma, relationship problems, self-esteem, emotional problems, or many other issues that may cause a child to turn to food for comfort. From these early beginnings, obesity has many negative possibilities. An obese person is more at risk to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other ailments, reason why epidemic obesity should be taken care of.

Useful Information: Obesity in America | Overweight and Obesity