Child Obesity Essay

1817 words - 7 pages

CHILD OBESITYChild ObesityObesity is a situation that influences more than one-quarter of adults and one out of five children according to the American Obesity Association (AOA). The special effects of obesity are sickness, decease, disabilities and morbidity. This disease does not receive the notice that it ought to have from the government and insurance companies. United States spends billions of dollars on healthcare and well being every year. Yet, obesity is on the rise. An estimated 70 to 74% of our US veterans are either overweight or obese. Obesity has been named the nation's leading cause of preventable death (Das, 2005). The US Surgeon General issued a call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity in 2001. Health problems related to obesity have a significant economic impact on the US health care system.Genetic, environmental, and behavioural factors all contribute to an individual's tendency to gain excess weight either in childhood or as an adult. The rapid increase within the last decade of overweight and obesity at the population level suggests that environmental and behavioural influences are playing a larger role than genetics. Clinical providers are an important part of influence, prevention, and treatment at the population level requires a public health approach. According to NCP data, it is estimated that veterans who receive health care at VA facilities have higher levels of individuals who are overweight and obese. Approximately 70% to 74& of veterans are obese versus the general U.S. population of 64% (Dick, 2004).Risks for specific morbidities related to obesity vary with age, gender, and race. Many of the health related risks of obesity are due to coronary heart disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, congestive heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer, osteoarthritis, gallstones, women's reproductive health problems, and aggravate asthma and respiratory problems. Obesity also increases surgical risks for some procedures.In addition to health effects, obesity is associated with discrimination negative attitudes about the obese have been reported in both children and adults in our society. These attitudes often translate into discrimination in employment opportunities, housing, social and marriage opportunities. Obese individuals report higher levels of low self esteem and poor body image. Some research reports obese individuals report higher levels of depression, psychopathology, and eating disorders. It is important to note that psychological distress associated with obesity varies within different culture groups. African American and Hispanic cultures report less cultural pressure to be thin and they have higher levels of satisfaction with body image.Overweight and obesity are responsible for a large burden of diseases. An estimated 365,000 deaths in the U.S. were attributable to poor diet and physical activity in 2000. (Mokdad et al., 2005). This accounts for 15.2% of all deaths and...

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