Childhood Obesity Epidemic Analysis

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In our society there is a major health epidemic sweeping our nation. One may be curious as to what this problem is. It happens to be childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is posing major health issues to children and adolescents. According to the American Heart Association, one in three American children and teenagers are obese or overweight (2015). One may wonder what the difference in between being obese and overweight is. Being overweight is defined as having an excess body weight for a person 's height. This weight can be attributed to fat, muscle, bone, and water. Obesity on the other hand is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). The United States has some of the highest rates …show more content…

Some of the most common childhood obesity factors include genetics, lack of exercise and activity, and unhealthy eating habits. In the United States specifically, where we have access to advanced technology, children spend much of their time on computers or playing video games. Unlike previous generations who didn’t have such access to technology, children today don’t spend as much time outside playing and being physically active. Another major contribution to childhood illness is the way children are eating. With everyday life being so hectic and both parents often working to provide for their family, children are not provided with the most nutritious meals. It is an easy fix for a parent to just stop at a McDonalds or Chick-fil-et after a long day of work. Aside from poor eating and exercise habits, there are additional factors that contribute to the rise of childhood obesity. Agriculture and food prices play a role in the food selection process. With the price of nutritional food becoming fairly expensive, and non nutritional food being cheaper, often people will opt for the lower priced food. Income also has an impact on childhood obesity. In households with a higher income, obesity is likely to be avoided because there are funds to enable the purchase of healthier foods versus unhealthy (Cawley, …show more content…

If America does not make a concentrated effort to control childhood obesity, the American child will have a lifespan shorter than that of any previous generation (American Nurses Association, 2010). Nurses can take part in obesity prevention by educating, advocating, and collaborating with health promotion organizations. Nurses can take the initiative to teach parents, children, and the community about the effects of childhood obesity. They work to promote healthy eating habits and activity to obtain optimal health. School nurses play a vital role by implementing programs that require school faculty to be role models. Nurses can advocate for children and adolescents by supporting funding for school wellness programs, and incorporating healthy cafeteria food into the

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