Childhood Obesity : A Growing Problem

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Did you know that obesity has become such a ‘growing’ quandary that for the first time ever today’s children are expected to have a life expectancy that is shorter than their parents (Gance-Cleveland, Gilbert, Kopanos, & Gilbert, 2009, p. 72)? Obesity in children and adolescents has become a worldwide epidemic, increasing every year. In fact, childhood obesity in the United States (US) has increased to 17%, which has nearly tripled the prevalence of obesity in the last three decades (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2012). Childhood obesity is a significant issue, with many of its adverse health consequences often continuing into adulthood. The adverse affects of obesity are associated with hypertension, type II Diabetes Mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and numerous other comorbidities (Gance-Cleveland, et al., 2009, p. 72). According to Cornette (2008), there are also “non-physical consequences of childhood overweight such as depression, social isolation, discrimination, and poor self-esteem, self-image, academic performance, and professional performance” (p. 136). These comorbidities, inevitably, lead to an exponential growth in obesity-related health care costs. As healthcare professionals, we need to address the issue of childhood obesity in order to avoid further damage to those affected, decrease obesity in our youth, as well as decrease the healthcare costs that coincide with obesity. This paper focuses on the multitude of factors
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