Childhood Obesity in United States
Whats the BIG Deal?
What is the Difference Between Obese and Overweight?
Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors.
Obese is defined as having an excess body fat.
Body Mass Index
If your BMI is between 25-29.99 you are considered overweight
If your BMI is between 30 or higher you are considered obese
Who to blame
Many assume it is the child's fault for their obesity, but who has the say of what their child is eating at every meal? Parents are easily to blame in this situation. If you see your child gaining weight, and you do not change their eating habits what sort of future are you setting up for them? As a parent you want the best future for your kid and that is to keep your child a healthy happy individual.
Do schools encourage this behavior?
Schools do not encourage this behavior. A lot of schools encourage their students to eat healthy foods and really push their students to be active. The health of students is linked to their academic success. To be successful being physically active and also eating right will help improve their academic success. Schools strive to improve all nine health guidelines but it is very hard for them to improve all of them at one time. Some don’t have the resources for these improvements so they have to alter them.
How to Prevent This Behavior
Supportive policies, environments, schools and communities are fundamental in shaping parents’ and children’s choices, making the healthier choice of foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (accessible, available and affordable), thereby preventing obesity.
For infants and young children, WHO recommends:
- early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth;
- exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life; and
- the introduction of nutritionally-adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months together with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.
School-aged children and adolescents should:
- limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
- increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
- engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day).
The food industry can play a significant role in reducing childhood obesity by:
- reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of complementary foods and other processed foods;
- ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers;
- practicing responsible marketing especially those aimed at children and teenagers.
- Use a coordinated approach to develop, implement, and evaluate healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices
- Establish school environments that support healthy eating and physical activity.
- Provide a quality school meal program and ensure that students have only appealing, healthy food and beverage choices offered outside of the school meal program.
- Implement a comprehensive physical activity program with quality physical education as the cornerstone.
- Implement health education that provides students with the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and experiences needed for lifelong healthy eating and physical activity.
- Provide students with health, mental health, and social services to address healthy eating, physical activity, and related chronic disease prevention.
- Partner with families and community members in the development and implementation of healthy eating and physical activity policies, practices, and programs.
- Provide a school employee wellness program that includes healthy eating and physical activity services for all school staff members.
- Employ qualified persons, and provide professional development opportunities for physical education, health education, nutrition services, and health, mental health, and social services staff members, as well as staff members who supervise recess, cafeteria time, and out-of-school-time programs.
What kind of burden is our Health Care in due to childhood obesity?
Of the year 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggest 18.1% of US children of the age 2-19 are obese while 16.1% are overweight.