Childhood Obesity : A Growing Problem

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Childhood obesity is a rapidly growing problem around the world, especially in North America today. The rates at which children and adolescents have become overweight have increased dramatically since the 1970’s leading to a call for action to try and reverse this growing trend (Birch & Ventura, 2009). This topic must be addressed as today childhood obesity affects approximately one in every five children and adolescents across the United States. This issue is important to discuss because being overweight and obese can contribute to a range of health, economic, and social problems that can be costly and sometimes debilitating to that person and family. Understanding childhood obesity is important because obesity in adolescence can cause a decrease in a child’s grades, attendance, and their overall quality of life.
To better under what child obesity is; it is important to understand the different terms that will be seen throughout the literature. The National Institution of Health defines being obese when a child or adolescent has a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and adolescents of the same age and sex (National Institution of Health, 2007). The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure used to determine if someone is at a healthy weight, overweight or considered obese. The formula that is used to discover a person’s BMI is taking that weight in pounds, multiplying it by 703, and then dividing that number by height squared (National Institution of Health,
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