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 to
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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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