Childhood Obesity in U.S.A.: Facts and Fears
Obesity is one of the biggest health challenges facing the United States. The U.S. center for disease control says two-thirds of American adults and 15 percent of children are overweight or obese – a condition putting them as risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In some states, the childhood obesity rate is above 30 percent.
Recently U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is calling on the congress to pass legislation to improve nutritional standards in American schools. “We owe it to the children who aren’t reaching their potential because they’re not getting the nutrition they need during the day,” she wrote in the Washington post. “We owe it to our country-because our prosperity depends on the health and vitality of the next generation.”
The child nutrition bill would allocate $4.5 billion over a decade to support school cafeterias and introduce new standards for food sold in schools. The legislation would effectively allow the agriculture department to ban junk food in schools. Disease related to excess weight costs the united stated about $150 billion each year in direct medical costs. About $17 billion of government dollars now go toward child nutrition, mostly school lunches.
No matter how hard some people try to hide it, childhood obesity statistics and facts should be a warning sign for all those who don’t take it seriously. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
Obesity consists of a lot of fats accumulated in the body. The percentage that makes the difference between a fat person and an obese one is different for boys and girls. For boys obese means 25% of the body weight is fat while as for the girls the percentage is 32%. Obesity appears when a child eats constantly more calories than he can burn and starts gaining extra pounds. This is common for children who buy their food from fast-food restaurants, doughnut shops or even vending machines. The main cause is their lifestyle: the car has replaces walking or using public transportation, the computer and the play stations have replaced outdoor games which made the children run and move a lot, the ice-cream, the pizza and the hamburgers have replaced healthy cooked food. Parents should try to offer their children a diet, which should include a variety of proteins, fibers, glucose and fats. Replacing the chips and peanuts with healthier snacks, like fruits, yogurts or home cooked sweets provides healthier options.
Obesity is a matter of heath. A high level of fats in the body can lead to heart diseases and blood pressure issues. The heart has to pump more blood to reach all the tissues, joints issues because of the weight pressing on them, high cholesterol, pulmonary problems, asthma or even type II diabetes.
Research on childhood obesity has shown that obese children of both sexes have higher chances of developing cancer. Various types of cancer are, just like obesity, are just like obesity, are more and more related to junk-food. Obese children are at a higher risk of developing pancreatic, respiratory-tract, bladder or mouth cancers as the become adults than normal children. These new results should really alarm people all over the world, obesity is a very serious problem itself but knowing that it could be genetically transmitted to the children and that it can lead to cancer makes it even scarier.
- U.S.A. Department of Health & Human Services : Childhood Obesity
- Childhood Obesity and Overweight for Professionals : CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
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