More than 30% of the American children today are suffering from obesity, which now is not only just an issue but has been labeled as a chronic disease by the American College of Endocrinology, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and American Medical Association. In fact, it has recently been regarded as “a national epidemic”. Obesity is no more just a weight problem: obesity has a serious effect on the metabolic, physical and psychological health of a person.
Obesity is defined by BMI (body mass index). If a person exceeds the weight limits with regards to their height, they are termed as obese. People with a body mass index of more than 40 kg are known to be suffering from “morbid obesity”. Although BMI is not considered the most reliable measurement technique of obesity, as it does not take into account the ethnic and racial differences, it’s still used for the early indications of obesity
Obesity in children, however, is assessed differently. As the body composition of each child varies with age, it is measured as a sex and age-specific percentage for BMI. In adolescents and children aged 2-19 years, a body mass index above 85 percent but lower than 90 percent indicates overweight; a child above the 95th percentile is thought to have obesity.
Effect of obesity on growth:
Human metabolism, particularly in children, plays a significant role in the development and overall health of the brain. High cholesterol level, bad metabolism, and fatty deposits in the body directly affect the brain which, in the case of a child, can greatly impact the quality of growth. Children with obesity are at a risk of developing weak memory, bad eyesight, early arthritis, and also suffer from various chronic diseases throughout their lives.
Impact of Obesity on the Society:
The American government spends nearly $210 billion every year to directly and indirectly counter obesity problems.
• Medical cost for a single person suffering from obesity was calculated to be more than $1,350 as compared to normal weight in 2006.
• When multiplied with the population of 10-year-old obese patients in America, the expenses of health care are estimated to be $13 billion.
All of the above statistics point to the increasing obesity concern in children. Researches state that lack of physical activity and easier availability to junk food has heavily contributed to the increased rate in a person suffering from obesity.
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Contact Person: Debra
Address:202 E. Earll St, #160
Country: United States