How Much Should A Teenage Girl Eat To Lose Weight Some Effects of Childhood Obesity

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Some Effects of Childhood Obesity

One of the more disturbing trends in today’s society is childhood obesity. It has become an epidemic around the United States for the past two decades. Since the 1970s, there has been an alarming growth in the statistics of children and young adults considered to be overweight. It is estimated today that nearly fifteen percent of all children living in our society are at least overweight, if not obese. Although obesity is easy to diagnose, it is not a very easy condition to treat. If an overweight child is unable to curb her eating habits and adjust to regular exercise cycles, she is likely to grow into an overweight adult. In fact, thirty percent of obese adults were obese children. Deaths related to obesity cause numbers in the six figures annually, and society is forced to spend almost 100 billion dollars every year in taxes related to obesity problems.

What causes obesity in children and young adults? The causes can be linked to a number of different factors, including nutrition, family, genetics and physical activity. If you have an obese parent, the chances are 50-50 that the child will grow up to be obese. When both parents struggle with this problem, the risk percentage is even higher – eighty percent. While genetics play a significant role in factoring obesity, it is important to remember that poor eating habits, stress and lack of exercise can also contribute to overweight and obesity.

The effects of childhood obesity are numerous. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and the development of diseases such as type 2 diabetes are all significant health risks caused by obesity. Obese adults often struggle with heart disease. Children with a normal healthy rate rarely suffer from these conditions.

What’s more, obesity can have serious psychological effects on children. The biggest problem is self-esteem problems caused by discrimination on a social level. A recent study asked obese children to rate their overall quality of life; they scored as low as cancer patients on chemotherapy. The children were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed their ability to carry out daily activities, such as getting along with others in their peer group, keeping up with the rest of the class at school, sleeping well, playing sports and walking a distance more than one city block. Obese children scored low in all these areas, indicating that their quality of life was very low. Parents who were asked to complete a similar questionnaire about their children ranked even lower in their assessment of their children’s quality of life.

We live in a culture that sends out very strong messages about ideal beauty and body weight. Girls are encouraged to constantly diet and exercise until they achieve a healthy, thin body. Boys are asked to constantly train and do whatever it takes to achieve a tan, muscular facade. This puts both obese boys and obese girls at risk of developing mental disorders and eating disorders.

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