Childhood Obesity is an Epidemic Essay

874 Words 4 Pages
Today, approximately 25 percent of children and teenagers are obese and the number is on the rise. Since the 1960’s childhood obesity has increased by 54 percent in children ages six to eleven. In children twelve to seventeen it has increased by 39 percent. (Silberstein, 1) Childhood obesity is so prevalent among these age groups that it has reached epidemic proportions.

One cause of childhood obesity is genetics. Children who have parents or siblings who are overweight have an increased risk of becoming obese themselves. Genetics accounts for approximately 25 percent to 40 percent to childhood obesity. (Causes of Obesity, 2) Although genetics is a significant factor, diet and lifestyle also play an important role in the increase
…show more content…
Obesity increases the insulin resistance and glucose intolerance making the drug for Type 2 diabetes less effective. Diabetes can lead to other serious health issues such as damaged blood vessels, kidney failure, blindness and limb amputations. (AOA Fact Sheets (health), 3)

Childhood obesity also may cause children to have higher cholesterol levels, sleep and breathing difficulties, heart problems and asthma. (AOA Fact Sheets (health), 3)

Not only does childhood obesity cause children to have physical problems, it also hinders their mental well being. Many children who are obese have low self esteem. Embarrassed because they are fat in a society that worships thin bodies but pushes fast food. In a recent study it was discovered that there was a significant relationship between obesity and low self esteem. Obese children have reported being teased about their weight, many times feeling like an outsider shunned from activities with other children. They have also reported being the target of negative comments about their obesity from their peers, strangers and even family members. (AOA Fact Sheets (youth), 3)

There is a direct correlation between obese children and obese adults according to studies done tracking obese children. Eighty percent of children between the ages of 10 to 13 years old who were obese as a child continued to be obese in their adult years. Adult obesity has its own host of medical problems such as

Related Documents