According to recent federal findings, the number of American children from the ages of six to eleven has tripled in the last forty-years, with one in every seven of these children meeting the criteria for obesity. (Brownlee, 2002) As a nation, we are starting to see children as young as two years old with serious weight problems (Brownlee 2002). Children, like the rest of Americans, are living more and more sedentary life styles. They are also bombarded with advertisements urging them to consume foods that are high in fat and calories, and are learning bad eating habits from to their parents. Overweight and obese children are not only putting themselves at risk for many health problems, but are also increasing the chance of rejection from their peer group. The time has come for parents, schools, and the media to realize just how serious our children's weight problem is, because their health and well-being are seriously at stake.
The rates of obesity in children are rising rapidly, with serious consequences.
There are some people who believe that we should not address the problem of childhood obesity, because they think that this issue is too sensitive, but the facts speak for themselves. Today, one in five school-age children fulfills the classic definition of obese, weighing 25% more than the ideal for his or her height and age. In the last decade, the incidence of obesity among children has risen nearly 30% (Brownlee,2003). According to experts, they're on the fast track for developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure as adults.
Why do so many young children have weight problems? There are several possibilities thrown out to try to explain or to just shift the blame for the problem. Some children are heavy simply because of genetic factors. Some children don't...