Obesity is a major problem, not only in America, but also in most countries, both developed and developing. This is a major concern for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in America and the WHO (World Health Organization) because statistics show that obese children and especially those in the teenage years have a 70% chance of being obese as adults. What is worse is that the percentage increases to 80%, if either one or both the parents are obese as well.
This is a major concern because obesity is the cause of many major health concerns later in life. This does not only affect the person themselves, but those who love them and society in general as this causes health insurance to rise and eventually decreases the number of people who are fit to work, thus putting a strain on the economy.
In 2004, there was a research report written about a study that lasted from 1999 to 2002 entitled 'Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents: United States' conducted by the CDC. According to that report '16 % children (over 9 million) 6-19 year olds are overweight or obese' this is three times as compared to what it was in 1980. In addition, this report brings out the fact that also during this same time period an additional 15% were 'at a risk of becoming overweight'.
Not only has this number tripled, but in the past three decades (according to this same study) obesity has 'more than doubled' in both children and adolescents.
Facts you should Know
Economic Costs - In the twenty years from 1979-1991 the hospital costs for children and youth have risen from 35 million in 1979-1981 to 127 million from 1997-1991 (Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005, Institute of Medicine).
Health Costs - Our children are paying dearly and at their young age are not realizing this. Type 2 Diabetes has risen from 4% new cases observed in the pre-1990s to between 8-45% during the 1990s. In addition, the incidence of a single risk factor for heart disease has also risen to nearly 60% of children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old who are obese. Not only that, but those with at least 2 risk factors has also risen to 25%. Some of these risk factors are those that generally we associate with the elderly, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides. These children are getting affected by these at the ages of 5 and 10 years, which in the past took decades to happen.
However, this problem is not only observed in the United States and the rates of obesity in the other nation's have also risen, thereby, it safe to assume that some of those statistics also represent children.
Some of the other nations that have a higher rate of obesity are Samoa, which has the highest worldwide rate of 74% as compared to that of America's 34% and China's 2%. These particular statistics represent the high, mid-range, and the low rate of obesity per nation. These statistics come from International Obesity Task Force, WHO figures 2002.
The first, of the two main causes for this condition among children, is the fast food that is prevalent, not only in America, but in most other nations. In South Korea, for most of the 90's, Seoul and most other cities there have fast food restaurants that are easily accessible to all.
It is not only what the kids are consuming, but it is also the lack of exercise, not only in the schools, but also at home. Their outdoor activities have also reduced as a result of them opting for devices ranging from DVD players, to video games, and other such activities which keep them indoors and involve less or no physical exertion at all.
On a conclusive note, it is the duty of the parents to keep a watch on their child's diet as some of the children are too young to even know what is better for them. A healthy diet is a must and the intake of junk food should be occasional if at all demanded by the child. Moreover, parents should make sure that exercises or some form of physical activity should be made a part of their child's routine. This would not only help solve the problem but also contribute to the child's overall health and development (both mentally and physically) in the long run.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.