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      Dangers of Childhood Obesity

      Learn the many ways that you can help prevent childhood obesity in our children.

       

      Childhood Obesity Facts and Prevention

      Obesity is defined as weighing greater than what is generally considered a healthy weight based on height. While some children may be large-boned or have a genetic predisposition to becoming overweight, nonetheless obesity in children has become a pandemic in our society. It is a dangerous prelude to health conditions which may occur as a result of being overweight.

      Here are some startling statistics: In 2000, 15.3% of children ages 6-11, and 15.5% of adolescents ages 12-19 were overweight. Between 1999 and 2000, over 10 percent of younger preschool children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight; up 7% from 1994. In addition, the National Health Center for Statistics indicates that only 25% of young people engage in some form of exercise; 25% do not exercise at all; and the percentage of children who have been defined as overweight has doubled since the 1970s.

      We all know that obesity can cause health conditions such as diabetes; cardio vascular disease; cholesterol; high blood pressure; and sleep apnea. In addition, children who are obese have a much greater chance of continuing on this road as evidenced by another statistic which revealed that one third of overweight adults were obese as children.

      In trying to determine how to counteract the obvious results of being an obese child, proper diet and exercise is a major factor. A child who maintains a healthy weight will less likely become overweight as an adult. However, there are other factors which contribute to a child becoming overweight, and we will explore these and other causes in this report. We will also discuss how we can help our children to maintain a healthy diet and engage in appropriate exercise.

      The sad truth is that childhood obesity 20 years ago was looked upon as the child being healthy. No measures were taken to control the weight gain. Today, however, society has mandated that thin is in, and this is one of the factors which contribute to childhood obesity.  What does one thing have to do with the other? Every child today is exposed to TV commercials, magazines, and other forms of propaganda which insist that to be thin is to be accepted. If a child is overweight, an affect of this societal acclamation may induce low self-esteem among children. As a result the child will eat more and exercise less.

       

      Childhood obesity can have far reaching consequences. Fortunately, itís never too late to help your child establish new habits. With exercise and a balanced diet, children can grow into healthy, productive adults.

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