Obesity Among Our Children

Essay by tattle05College, Undergraduate August 2005

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Obesity Among Our Children

Childhood obesity is an ongoing epidemic that is plaguing adults and children alike. But it is affecting our children in a way that we cannot explain. Medically there is a cure for obesity. But everyone has to play there part if we are to rid this disease from our society. We have to gain information and awareness in order to defeat this disease.

Defining and diagnosing obesity can vary greatly within the medical field. "A condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body" is the official definition of obesity (Britannica Online, [nd]. But according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academics (2004), obesity means "an excess amount of subcutaneous body fat in proportion to lean body mass." There are many ways physicians and dieticians use to measure obesity. One way is called BMI or Body Mass Index. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academics (2004), the meaning of BMI or Body Mass Index is, "An indirect measure of body fat calculated as the ratio of a person's body weight in kilograms to the square of a person's height in meters.

BMI (kg/m") = weight (kilograms) ÷ height (meters)"

In children and youth, BMI is based on growth charts for age and gender and is referred to as BMI-for-age, which his used to assess underweight, overweight, and risk for overweight." The BMI growth charts for children are what pediatricians use to provide national percentile results for the parents. This particular chart is based on height and weight but graph information to make it easier for the parents to understand the child's growth. Another measuring tool is triceps and sub scapular skin fold values. We know exactly what an obese child looks like with our sight, but we...