Is There A Cancer In Children That Cause Weight Gain 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 that of childhood obesity. It has become an epidemic around the United States in the last two decades. Since the 1970s, there has been an alarming growth in the statistics of children and young adults considered obese. It is estimated today that almost fifteen percent of all children living in our society are at least overweight, if not obese. Although it is easy to diagnose obesity, it is not a condition that is very easy to treat. If an overweight child is unable to curb her eating habits and adapt to regular cycles of exercise, she is likely to grow into an obese adult. The fact is, thirty percent of obese adults were obese children. Deaths related to obesity causes yearly in six figures figures, and society is forced to spend almost $100 billion every year in taxes related to obesity problems.

What causes obesity in children and young adults? The causes can be linked to a variety of factors, including nutrition, family, genetics, and physical activity. If one has an obese parent, the chance is 50-50 that the child will grow up to be obese. If both parents struggle with this problem, the percentage risk is even greater – eighty percent. While genetics do play an important role in factoring obesity, it is important to keep in mind 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 major health risks that result from 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 with self-esteem issues that are the result of discrimination on a social level. One recent study had obese children rate their overall quality of life; they scored as low as cancer patients in chemotherapy. The children were asked to fill out a questionnaire assessing their ability to perform everyday 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 a walking distance of 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 fill in 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 diet and exercise constantly until they get a fit, thin body. Guys are told to constantly work out and do whatever it takes to get a buff, muscular facade. This puts both obese boys and obese girls at risk for developing psychological and eating disorders.

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