Obesity is the term for being grossly fat or overweight. Over the past few years the number of obese and overweight children has increased, and in no way has or is being something done about it. Nutrition, television, computers, video gaming, and lack of exercise have been main causes for children being overweight. A big one is fast food; these huge fast-food chains have been encouraging children to want to consume their unhealthy foods, by giving away toys with their kids’ meal. Obesity puts the children at a high risk of developing serious illnesses. They have unhealthy weight, lung weakening, diabetes, high cholesterol, and many more illnesses that put their lives at risk. Children may also gain emotional problems coming from bullying, self - esteem issues, and simply not being able to do the same activities as kids who are healthy.
If children have a body mass greater than or equal to the 95th percent for their age, they are considered obese (Bell). There are many reasons why these children have become overweight so young. There are several main causes of a child being overweight are lack of exercise and poor nutrition, eating high-calorie foods on a regular daily base like fast foods, baked goodies, snacks from vending machines, and soda without daily exercise increases the weight of a child (Mayo Foundation). Since 1970 fast food consumption has increased five times more than before. One third of children in the United States between ages four and nineteen eat fast food every day; which concludes in a weight gain of about six pounds per year (kids health). Because of the fact that children don’t have the same access to healthy foods like before where mom used to cook food everyday, and kids do not exercise in any type of physical activity anymore. Children are now spending over three hours a day watching television. When kids over two years should only watch 2 hours of television a day, and kids under the age of two should not watch television at all (Hubbard). Instead of watching television for all those hours, they should be told to be outside doing some kind of outdoor activity like basketball, soccer, roller-skating, bike riding, and other similar things. Another reason for obesity can result from low self-esteem, depression, or dramatic events that have taken place in their lives. Sometimes when parents aren’t financially stable it is difficult for them to be able to provide healthy food to their children, or be able to put them in sports, or in other activities. If both parents are obese, the child has an 80 percent chance of becoming overweight (Thompson). They eat the same foods as their parents and follow their steps in activities and ways of taking care of each other. Obesity can’t be inherited, but diseases that cause it will. Childhood obesity can have a very bad effect on their bodies in many ways. Obese children are most likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can result in the child having a cardiovascular disease. In a study, about 70 percent of overweight children had at least on cardiovascular risk factor, when the other 39 percent had two or more. They also can have an increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (Thompson). Breathing problems can also result from overweight, such as sleep and apnea and asthma. Obese children and adolescents have a greater risk of social and psychological problems such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, and can continue into adulthood (Segel). Emotional problems are another result of childhood obesity. In most cases, children who suffer from this have a low self-esteem or are often depressed. Overweight children are the ones who are most likely to be bullied and made fun on in school or public places. This