Childhood Obesity

Essay by brigettek2005College, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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Childhood Obesity:

What is Making the Next Generation Fat?

By: Brigette King

What is making the next generation fat? Just a decade or so ago the debate of childhood obesity was not even a matter to be discussed. Our grandparents never even questioned the weight of their children. Their children, our parents, ate healthy foods at the family dining table and played outside all day long, but the subject of childhood obesity has gained quite a bit of interest since those days. With the ever so growing popularity of fast foods, the introduction of Play station and Xbox games and the more demanding careers of today's parents, the overdevelopment of both urban and suburban areas our kids are living sedentary lives and are becoming very overweight. The epidemic of childhood obesity is rapidly rising in America. The number of children who are now overweight has tripled since 1980 and the prevalence of obesity in younger children has more than doubled.

Overall, approximately 17% or 12.5 million of the children in the United States between the ages of 2 and 19 are already obese (C enters for Disease Control and Prevention , 2012). This finding is very disturbing to many Americans and has caused many debates on who is responsible for this rising epidemic and how can we control it.

Childhood obesity is measured by the body mass index (BMI). The BMI is calculated using a child's height and weight. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but it is a reasonable indicator of body fatness for most children. A child's weight status is determined using an age and sex specific percentile for BMI rather than the normal BMI categories which are used to determine an adult BMI. These are used because a child's body...