The Problem Of Childhood Obesity

2817 Words12 Pages
According to The State of Obesity (Trust for America’s Health, 2014), in the United States today, 31.8% of children are obese or overweight, 16.9% of that number are obese. Nurses are at the forefront of promoting health, so what can they do to eradicate this prevalent disease? Research by Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal (as cited in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014) states that from 1980 to 2012, the percentage of overweight or obese children more than doubled, totaling to greater than one third of all children and adolescents as overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is an epidemic that is sweeping the nation and becoming a severe problem. Besides the obvious risks of cardiovascular disease, bone and joint issues, low…show more content…
It is crucial to stop obesity at its root because of the difficulty keeping weight off after losing it. A recent study has shown that there is a biological reason for that problem that many people have had. Once a person has gained weight, it is hard to lose it, but much harder to stop from gaining much of it back. The study shows that this problem is not willpower; it is hormones. Body weight is regulated by hormones released by the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and hypothalamus. These regulate how hungry we are versus how much energy we use. A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that subjects’ hormone levels, specifically leptin and ghrelin, after they had lost weight were not normal for their new weight; they did not adjust properly for the new weight. In fact, not only that, but the hormones were triggering hunger and causing the storing of fat. When a person who has never gained and lost weight might use fifteen calories to ride a bicycle for a certain amount of time, a person who has lost weight might only expend five calories. In other words, calories that the subjects took in were not being used as they should be because the body was storing them as fat instead. This was their bodies’ attempt to regain the weight and return to what the body thought of as normal. This landmark finding has begun to make doctors, scientists, and researchers think differently about weight regain. Often, it
Get Access