Essay by chris6878University, Master'sB+, January 2008

download word file, 10 pages 4.3

Obesity is a public health issue that is spreading rapidly. Obesity is most blatantlyvisible yet the most neglected in the realm of public health concerns. Obesity is a complex condition that affects all ages and does not discriminate in choosing its victims. Obesity is not only responsible for many disparities in our nation's health status but it can also cause serious social and psychological problems. In 1995 there were approximately 200 million obese adults and nearly 18 million children classified as overweight worldwide. (WHO 2003) Until recently, type 2 diabetes mellitus was thought to be a rare occurrence in children and adolescents. During the mid-1990s, investigators began to observe an increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes worldwide. The association between type 2 diabetes and obesity represents one of the most challenging health issues at present.

Instead of using obesity the term overweight is used to describe many of the current conditions in children.

Being overweight is currently the most common health problem facing children in both developed and developing countries. Approximately, 22 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight and the prevalence in our youth continues to rise. In the United States of America, the prevalence of overweight among children aged 4-12 years old has increased by 21.8% in Hispanics since 1998, 21.5% among African-Americans and 12.3% among non-Hispanic whites. (Kiess 2003)Metabolic Syndrome:The metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X) is making a name for itself in the United States. Twenty to Twenty five percent of adults in the United States have the metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is associated with the metabolic disorder called insulin resistance. Factors such as excess body fat and physical inactivity can trigger insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. The biologic mechanisms surrounding insulin resistance and metabolic risk factors at...