Obesity and Running Head Essay

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Pages: 6

Running head: PREVENTING OBESITY IN CHILDREN

Preventing Obesity in Children
Ashley Walker
Professor Avalos
English 102
28 August 2009

APA Sample Paper
6th Edition

[Universities may ask for other information on this page, i.e. college name, etc. Always check your class syllabus for this information or see APA Publication Manual 6th Edition]

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Running head: PREVENTING OBESITY IN CHILDREN
Abstract
Obesity is a recent health epidemic that has dire consequences for America’s health, especially for its children. The causes contributing to this epidemic include sedentary life styles, caloric intake, and major changes in the eating patterns of American families. Among these changes in eating habits is the amount of food Americans consume, how often they consume those foods, and the types of foods themselves.

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Running head: PREVENTING OBESITY IN CHILDREN

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Preventing Obesity in Children
Americans are the fattest people on the planet and continue to expand. According to a survey of adult men and women in the United States during 1999-2000, published in JAMA: The
Journal of the American Medical Association, 30.5% of Americans are obese, up from 22.9% ten years earlier, and nearly two-thirds (64.5%) are overweight (Flegal, Ogden, & Johnson, 2002).
Excess weight isn’t just a matter of looks. Obesity magnifies the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments thus overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of chronic illness (Brownell & Horgen, 2004, p. 4). An especially disturbing aspect of this trend is that
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children are increasingly obese. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2002) reports that the percentage of obese children aged 6 to 11 almost quadrupled from 4% in 1974 to 15% in
2000, and the percentage of obese children aged 12 to 19 increased from 6% in 1974 to 15% in
2000 (United States, 2002). Obese children have a 70% chance of becoming obese adults with a much higher risk of serious illness than those of normal weight (Brownell & Horgen, 2004, p.
46). Furthermore, obese children suffer many serious health problems today. Pediatricians now routinely treat atherosclerosis and type II diabetes, diseases that used to be frequent only among older people (Tyre, 2002, p. 38). Today’s children are among the first generation in American history who may die at earlier ages than their parents.
For most people in the United States, obesity is a matter of individual choice and oldfashioned willpower (Lee & Oliver, 2002). The usual advice for overweight people is to eat less and exercise more, but how applicable is this advice for children unless they have strong guidance from adults? How can children make intelligent choices about eating in an environment where overeating is normal and where few adults know what’s in the food they eat?
The United States has been successful in addressing teen health problems: drug use has dropped,

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Running head: PREVENTING OBESITY IN CHILDREN

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teenage pregnancy has been reduced, and teen smoking has declined. We need to take a similar proactive response by taking concrete steps to reverse the trend toward more obese children.
Lifestyle, Calorie Changes
Lifestyle Changes. Many have blamed the rise in obesity on a more sedentary life style, including the move to the suburbs, where people drive instead of walk, and increased viewing of television. One study of children watching television found a significant drop in the average metabolic rate during viewing (Klesges, Shelton, & Klesges, 1993). Another study reports that reducing children’s television viewing also affects their eating behavior (Robinson & Killen,
2001). No doubt that children who exercise less tend to weigh more, but the couch potato argument does not explain why the enormous weight gains have occurred over the past twentyfive years. The move to the suburbs and the widespread viewing of television began in the
1950s.…