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Childhood Obesity

  • Date Submitted: 02/28/2011 08:09 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.6 
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The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased significantly since the 1980s.   This should be a concern for the parents of these children since it has been established that diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancers are undeniably linked to obesity.   Many people blame the lack of physical education in the school and the mass media for perpetuating unhealthy lifestyle.   We must quit blaming the school system, the media and look closer to home.   Mass media is certainly culpable when it comes to propagating the over-indulgent behaviors that have become the prevailing mantra of society. And without question the need for more physical activity in our schools is legitimate but as with most human behavior the home is where the seed is planted and nurtured so parenting is the worst culprit of childhood obesity.
“Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat.   Obesity is present when total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls.   Obesity is the result of caloric imbalance (too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed) and is mediated by genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. According to Pediatrician W.H. Dietz, up to 25 percent of children are obese.   Not all obese children turn into obese adults, but the majority of these children will remain obese for their entire lifespan.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overweight children has increased the last 20 years from 7 percent in 1980 to 16 percent in 2002, and the number of obese adolescents has tripled” (Thurman, 1990).
“Parenting, by definition, involves the task of care and feeding one’s children.” (Savage,Fisher, and Birch, 2007).   Today’s parents simply aren’t taking an active role in the nutrition of their children.   Parents need to be vigilant and provide healthy food choices for meals and snacks so that children will become used to these as the normal food choices. When...


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