Childhood Obesity Essay

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Childhood obesity is an important issue because of the staggering proportions that this disease has reached in the past few years. Certain genetic factors paired with changing lifestyles and culture has produced kids (and adults) who are generally not as healthy as people were just a few decades ago. Widespread obesity has been the extreme result of these changes.

I chose this topic because I have worked with children all of my life. I plan to continue my work with children in the future, possibly in an academic administration setting. Because schools are seen as an important player in the battle with childhood obesity, it is important that educators are aware of the health risks and that they learn what they can do
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The most extreme cases were found among Mexican-Americans and African-Americans. (Ogden.)

Class 3 obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40 and is also known as morbid obesity. It is most prevalent among African-
American women and is also more common among short adults. (Freedman).

Three-quarters of adults with Class 3 obesity have another health problem associated with being overweight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure
(Freedman). There are three times as many Class 3 obese people in 2000 as there were in
1990 (Freedman).

The debate concerning the cause for obesity has been going on for decades. Thus far there has been no consensus on the main cause, but experts agree that it is probably a combination of factors, both scientific/genetic and cultural/environmental.

Recent research has begun to explain many of the scientific causes for childhood obesity. Scientists are learning more about genetics, nutrition and how our bodies work to better understand what is causing this problem.

Understanding nutrition is one way to understand the causes of obesity. Simple carbohydrates have what is called a high “glycemic index.” To digest simple

carbohydrates the body must produce large amounts of insulin, lowering blood sugar and making people “feel” hungry. Complex carbohydrates have low glycemic indexes and do not require as much insulin to digest so

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