Essay on Obesity: Nutrition and Children

Submitted By mslibra66
Words: 1685
Pages: 7

Childhood Obesity in the United Stat
ENG 122
December 03, 2011

There is an alarming rise in childhood obesity throughout the United States, making an epidemic in our country. Over the past thirty years obesity has continued to increase and become a threat to the health of many children. Since the 1970s, obesity has doubled in children from the ages of 2-5, and young adults between the ages of 12 and 19. The most significant increase is seen in children between the ages of 6-11. Since 1998 the number of obese children has tripled to approximately 9 million. Being over weighted as a child can cause a child to have anxiety, disruptive behavior, and antisocial behavior. It can cause social anxiety due to the teasing and bullying, which lead to poor self esteem and causes depression. It can cause depression, which leads to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. This steers from them being heavier than their peers. Overweight children that are also at higher risk for suicidal thoughts than average weight children. It can lead a child to an eating disorder (Ogden, Carroll, Curtin, McDowell, Tabak, Flegal; 2006.) As with adult-onset obesity, childhood obesity has multiple causes centering on an imbalance between energy in (calories obtained from food) and energy out (calories expended in the basal metabolic rate and physical activity). Childhood obesity most likely results from an interaction of nutritional, psychological, familial, and physiological factors. The risk of becoming obese is greatest among children who have obese parents (Dietz, 1983). This may be due to powerful genetic factors or to parental modeling of both eating and exercise behaviors. It indirectly affects the child's energy balance. This is a major concern for the state, but there is hope. Parents, schools, government, and the health community can improve the diets of children by increasing their physical activity, as well as altering their thoughts and behaviors toward food. I live in Mississippi and we are having been number one in the high rise of obesity. Obesity for the Seventh Year! This was a recent headline, and when ask by others, Miss. Nina Patrick “How did this happen again?” Mississippi has a 34.3 percent obesity rate, a leading health concern for our state, because obesity is a contributing factor to diabetes, heart disease of genetics and hypertension. I feel that obesity is a disease of genetics, environment and diet. It affects both the physical and the mental health. There are things we can do to help change the statistics. By making healthy choices about diet is the key. Protein foods stay with us longer and, therefore, curb hunger. They also help build muscle and burn fat. On the other hand, carbohydrates are readily digested, do not build muscle, and do not satisfy hunger. Humans are creatures of habit, and while it may be desirable to make positive changes in our lives, it is not always easy. We must remember results will not happen overnight. We all get off track of our diets, but it doesn't have to spell disaster. Diets often fail because we do not like to feel deprived of carbs, fast food, or sweets. But remember, to keep all things in moderation. Many Europeans manage to indulge in good, high calorie foods such as delicious bread, heavy pasta and rich desserts. However they are able to stay slim because of portion control. Many people today are not educated when it comes to nutrition guidelines. Portion sizes are ridiculously overdone. For example, one of McAlister’s Deli’s signature items is their baked potatoes. Oftentimes, the potato will cover over half of a plate. The serving size for potatoes is equivalent to the size of a computer mouse. Possibly Wendy’s biggest launch in the 2000s was the Baconator. The Baconator consists of one, two, or three quarter pound beef patties, the same options for cheese, and six slices of bacon. This all starts out at a little over