Childhood Obesity Essay

I. Attention Getting Device: Our society has become a classic case of “Battle of the Bulge,” as our society now has an alarming number of obese individuals. But this isn’t from World War II; it is a current war of the waistlines. Can you imagine weighing 117 at 8 years old? Impossible, right? Wrong. Nicholas Reeves, a 2nd grader from Nashville, Tennessee, weighs in at a staggering 117 pounds (Donvan & Patricia, 2010). Nicholas, like many other children in America, is in serious risks of health problems throughout their lifetime. How serious?Deadly serious. Would you want a child you know to run the risk of death, when you know it could have possibly been prevented? II.

Thesis Restatement: While there are many causes of childhood obesity, most are, in fact, preventable. Preventable meaning, YOU can help to change the alarming statistics III. Preview of the main points: In the next few minutes, I will briefly discuss how childhood obesity is calculated and the facts and statistics regarding childhood obesity. Then, I will discuss how detrimental it can be to a child’s life.Furthermore, I will discuss two prevalent, yet preventable, causes that contribute to childhood obesity. Finally, I will provide ways in which you, and we as a society, can help to reduce the number of children suffering from obesity Transition: With the help of this speech and the information provided, it is my hope to influence all of you to become more aware of how serious childhood obesity is, and to also realize it can be prevented in many cases.

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Body I. How is childhood obesity calculated? a.Childhood obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (CDC, 2012). i. Using the BMI, a child’s weight and height are calculated b. From there, their weight category is obtained using a sex and age specific percentile for BMI ii. For children and adolescents aged 2-19 1. They are considered overweight if their BMI is at or above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex (Barlow, 2007).

2. They are considered obese if their BMI is at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sexTransition: Calculating a child’s BMI is the easy part. However, understanding the risk factors surrounding a harmful BMI is scary part. c. In her article (2012) titled, “America, 100 Percent Fat,” Martica Heamer believes the current generation of children is actually expected to die younger than their parents, which was unheard of before this generation. d. The Center for Disease and Control, 2012, reported that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years Transition: The epidemic of childhood obesity comes with serious consequences.II.

Children who are obese pose harmful effects to their body, such as: e. High blood pressure and high cholesterol iii. Both of which can cause cardiovascular disease f.

An increase of impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance iv. Commonly associated with diabetes g. Breathing problems v. Sleep apnea and asthma h. Fatty liver disease Transition: The consequences I just mentioned could be prevented by minimizing the preventable causes that are contributing to childhood obesity, such as eating too much, and eating the wrong kinds of foodsIII. We live in a society where the normal social gathering involves more food and our daily activities involve less and less physical activity; both contributing to obesity. i. The Center for Disease Control, 2012, believes that energy imbalance is a prime factor vi.

Energy imbalance is when the number of calories consumed is not equal to the number of calories he or she uses. vii. Thus, in the case of child obesity, many children are eating more calories than what they are burning off.Transition: Researchers at the Mayo Clinic explain how obesity is more common in industrialized countries where more fast food and convenience stores are prevalent j.

A poll done by MSNBC found that approximately 49% of parents say they turn to restaurants because of lack of time to provide a home-cooked meal viii. Fast foods are high in calories, provide less fruits and vegetables, and are packed with sugar, fat, and sodium k. A study done by CBS news found that, on average, 1/3 of children aged 4-19 living in the United States, eat fast food daily ix. This can be calculated as an extra 6 pounds per child, per year.

. Furthermore, because fast food is packed with more fats, carbohydrates, and sugars, the study found that these children consumed an average of 187 more calories a day Transition: Obesity, however, isn’t just about what we eat and how much we eat IV. Just as eating too much and eating bad foods is a key factor of childhood obesity, so too is a lack of exercise. l.

According to the Center for Disease Control, physical activity/exercise play a fundamental role in energy balance m. Furthermore, the CDC found a decrease in daily physical activity provided by schoolsn. Instead of exercise, more children today are engaging in entertainment media xi.

Children 8-18 years old spend approximately 7. 5 hours a day using entertainment media xii. This leads to an increase in snacking and a decrease in physical activity Transition: So, what can be done to decrease the statistics regarding childhood obesity? V. Promote healthy eating behaviors o. Adults play a vital role in children’s nutrition. xiii. Thus, it is important they teach children about healthy foods and practice what they teach p.

Avoid fast food as much as possible.xiv. Focus on ways to make time for home-cooked meals for children VI. Increase the amount of physical activity children are receiving and decrease the amount of sedentary activity q. It is important to get children active in physical activity, as physical activity is a key element in reducing obesity r. Set limits as to how much tv and video games children are allowed to partake in per day Transition: If children start partaking in eating better foods, while increasing their physical activity and decreasing their sedentary activity, they will decrease their chances of obesity.Conclusion VII. Summary – I hope I have helped you to better understand how serious childhood obesity is: how to calculate obesity, the risk factors attributed to childhood obesity, two prevalent, yet preventable, causes of childhood obesity, and ways to reduce childhood obesity.

VIII. Closure – It is no secret that our society is in an obesity epidemic. Now that you are more aware of a few causes regarding childhood obesity and the risk factors associated with children who are obese, I challenge you to make positive steps to promote healthiness in a child’s life.

The first step is to become aware of how serious the situation, and that was my hopes with this speech. Thank you.BibliographyAssociated Press “Poll: Lack of exercise blamed for kid obesity. ” MSNBC. Posted 25 Oct. 2005.

Retrieved 20 Sept. 2012. Barlow SE and the Expert Committee. Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity: summary report.

Pediatrics 2007;120 Supplement December 2007:S164—S192. “Childhood Obesity. ” Mayo Clinic.Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Posted 31 Mar. 2006. Retrieved 20 Sept. 2012.

http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/childhood-obesity/DS00698 “Contributing Factors: Overweight and obesity: an overview. ” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Posted 22 May 2007. Retrieved 20 Sept. 2012 < http://www.

cdc. gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/contributing_factors. htm>. “Fast Food Linked to Child Obesity. ” CBS News.

Posted 5 Jan. 2003. Retrieved 20 Sept. 2012. Heaner, Matrica. “America, 100 Percent Fat. ” MSN Health and Fitness. Retrieved 20 Sept.



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