Childhood Obesity Is Increasing At Rates

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Childhood obesity is increasing at rates that have alarmed health care researchers, public health agencies, medical providers, and the general public as the incidence has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, Flegal, 2014). The problem is complex, as it involves the diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds of children and the necessity for multi-agency involvement and coordination to effect the needed change. Public health nurses can play a major role in the prevention of this epidemic as they are out in the community and are able to contact individuals at home, school and workplace settings to provide health screenings and education regarding nutrition and…show more content…
In addition to these immediate health consequences, they are much more likely to develop weight-related problems as adults. Obese children often have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes abnormal glucose tolerance, high cholesterol levels and elevated blood pressure (Bryan et al., 2013). In a sample of 5-to 17-year-olds, almost 60% of overweight children had at least one CVD risk factor and 25% of overweight children had two or more CVD risk factors (National Center for Health Statistics, 2011). California is one of only a few states that have reported a minimal decrease in childhood obesity rates, possibly resulting from comprehensive action taken to address the epidemic (Ogden et al. 2014). Although the state is meeting the Healthy People 2020 targets, a large percentage (25.4%) of California adults and adolescents (15.8%) are still obese (Ogden et al. 2014). The worst part of all these statistics is that obesity rates among low-income children 2 to 4 years old (17.2%) and 5 to 19 years old (23.3%) exceed the targets (Ogden et al. 2014). Only one county in California has an obesity rate among low-income preschool-age children that meets the national Healthy People 2020 target of 9.6% and no
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