Childhood Obesity Is Becoming A Major Public Health Crisis Essay

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Childhood obesity is becoming a major public health crisis in both children and adults. The American Heritage dictionary simply defines obesity as a condition of increased body weight that is due to excessive build up of fat in the body. The CDC (Center for Disease Control), use the BMI (Basal Metabolic Index) and CDC growth charts to determine obesity and overweight in adolescents and children. The BMI-for-age percentile is determined by plotting the BMI value. Using this chart, obesity is defined as a BMI value that is at or above the 95th percentile for children who are of the same sex and age. Overweight is described as a BMI value at or above the 85th percentile but lower than the 95th percentile. Between the year 2003 and 2006, a National Health and Nutrition study indicated that at least 31.9 percent of both children and adolescents were overweight, and 16.3 percent were obese (Lossing, 2010). The number of obesity has increased significantly over the years causing it to be designated as a global epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1998(Jadavji 2006). Cases of childhood obesity are highest in developed countries. However, there is a steady increase in its prevalence in developing countries also. Interestingly, there are proportionately more overweight girls than boys, especially among adolescents. Childhood obesity has significant consequences on both the psychological and physical health of a child. These consequences include; abnormal
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