This course project is being submitted on May 13, 2012 for Dr. Nicole Runyon B271/COM1007 Section 08 Professional Communication.
According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States which is three times the rate from one generation ago (Childhood Overwieght and Obesity, 2012). This issue causes many problems with the health of American youth as well as adults and the heath of the economy. Problem
Childhood obesity is harmful in many ways. Children who are obese are far more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which increase risk for cardiovascular disease (Association, 2011). In fact in one study 70% of all obese children had one of these risk factors for heart disease (Childhood Overwieght and Obesity, 2012).
In addition to heart disease, obese children have a much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, joint problems, fatty liver disease, gallstones, and gastro-esophageal reflux (Childhood Overwieght and Obesity, 2012). All of these medical problems are very serious and most of them could be prevented by controlling obesity in children.
Besides the medical issues, children who are overweight are more likely to suffer from depression, self-esteem issues and bullying. Because of this diseases such as anorexia, bulimia, unhealthy dieting habits and are at increased risk for substance abuse (Nemours, 2012).
If not treated when the children are young, all of these issues carry over into adulthood. More than one third of adults in America are obese (A Growing Pro, 2011). As adults, in addition to high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, joint problems, fatty liver disease, gallstones and GERD, obesity increases the risk of stroke, some types of cancer, infertility in women and irregular menstrual cycles (Nemours, 2012).
As well as the medical issues carried over to adulthood, the pscological issues are also carried over. Adults that are overweight and were overweight as children have unhealthy dieting habits and a much higher rate of eating disorders. Overweight adults and adults that were overweight as children also have issues with self esteem and depression (A Growing Pro, 2011).
As if the physical and mental health issues in American adults and children weren’t enough, these health issues contribute to issues in the health of the American economy. In 2008 alone, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion (A Growing Pro, 2011). Medical costs are much higher for obese people, because of all of the diseases and medical factors caused by obesity. Medical costs paid by third party payers or insurance companies for people who are obese were $1,429 higher in 2008, than people of normal weight (A Growing Pro, 2011). These medical costs not only consist of the preventative, diagnostic and treatments for the patients, but in addition, regular medical procedures may often cost more for obese individuals because of the heightened risk and expensive medical complications (Carollo, 2012). Preventing obesity may not only be a matter of life or death, but also a matter of avoiding financial disaster in America.
There are several solutions to this problem, but it is not easy. The key is to start with children and instill good eating and exercising habits from childhood. There have been many programs developed to do just this. The government has developed school lunch programs encouraging schools to offer only healthy selections for school lunches. Schools are encouraged to eliminate vending machines with unhealthy choices such as soda, candy and potato chips and replace them with healthier options. The National Football League has developed a campaign called NFL PLAY 60 that encourages children to be active in some way for