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Childhood Obesity : A Growing Concern

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Childhood Obesity: A Growing Concern in Langley Park, Maryland
Joan Nwosu
Bowie State University

Introduction Childhood obesity has become a growing health concerns in the heart of American population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (2015) estimates that 1 in 3 American children aged 6 – 11 years old were either overweight or obese in 2013 which is a staggering increase from 7 percent in 1980 to 18% to date. It is scary to know that childhood obesity is one of the leading factors to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in later life according to American Heart Association. To further address the childhood obesity in American, a look at childhood obesity in the community of Langley will be examined and
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It has been documented by the City’s Data (2015) that 18.4% of Langley Park residents are unemployed and those employed have a median household income of $20,035 only in 2013 compared to the state of Maryland’s level of $42,483. As a result of the unemployment rate and poverty line in this community, many of the families are unable to afford healthy food and have to settle with fast-foods like McDonald’s French fries and burger that are affordable and convenience especially with many fast-food chains and their increasing dollar menu foods. In addition, many of the residents at Langley Park are immigrants are either jobless and lack access to primary health care as well as preventative care due to lack of health insurance coverage and language barrier. Diagnosis CDC (2014), defines overweight in children as a “Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile”. Obesity on the other hand is a “BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex” (CDC, 2014). In Langley Park alone, the number of low income children aged 6-11 who are obese according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2014) is at 7.2% compared to the
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