Childhood Obesity Essay

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Childhood Obesity Introduction The past several decades have seen an escalating trend in the rate of childhood obesity not only in the United States where 25%-30% of children are affected, but also in many of the industrialized nations. Childhood obesity has continued to be a major issue in the public health care system. The economic cost of the medical expenses as well as the lost income resulting from the complications of obesity both in children and adults has been estimated at almost $100 billion (Barnes, 2011). Overweight children are more predisposed to the danger of becoming overweight in their adulthood unless they ensure healthier eating habits and exercise. It is worth noting that the current lifestyle in which many children…show more content…
Greek physicians are credited for making the observation that infertility and infrequent menses in women was caused by obesity. About five centuries after Hippocrates, Galen who was a Roman physician made a distinction between immoderate and moderate forms of obesity. It is supposed that the immoderate form was an anticipation of what is currently classified as morbid obesity (Bray, 2009). Though clinical observations made in the ancient times had brought to light the risk of diabetes and sudden death associated with obesity, the significance of excess mortality and morbidity caused by obesity has only received full appreciation more recently. Data obtained as early as 1901 indicated that people with excess weight, particularly around the abdomen had a shortened life expectancy. Further systematic studies have confirmed this risk and these results led to the World Health Organization classifying obesity on the basis of increasing BMI (Bray, 2009). Epidemiology According to the statistics gathered since the 1960s, the prevalence of childhood obesity has been on the rise with the years between the 1980s and 1990s indicating a three times increase from nearly 5% to almost 15% for both children and teens (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011, p. 42). The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) have been conducting studies on the prevalence

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