While childhood obesity is certainly a recognized issue in today’s society, when one takes a look at some of the cold hard facts associated with childhood obesity it is difficult not to be outwardly shocked. One of the most shocking statistics can be identified in how many children are overweight today; in the United States today, it is estimated that the number of children that are between the ages of six and eleven that are obese has tripled in the past thirty years. Per information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than fifteen percent of all children ages six to nineteen are presently overweight. The prevalence of obesity has also doubled in children of preschool age.
Statistics pertaining to childhood obesity differ depending upon the source. Some researchers presently estimate that there are roughly 9 million obese children in the US, all of which face obesity health related issues and complications. According to the International Obesity TaskForce the numbers of obese children is far higher; the IOTF is a group that estimates the number of obese children to be at 155 million school-age children. The prevalence of type II Diabetes in children has increased more than 75 percent in the last twenty years, and eighty-five percent of all type II Diabetes cases are attributed to the onset of obesity. What’s more, eighty-five percent of all coronary disease is brought on by issues related to obesity. Further, as of this date, thirty percent of all Caucasian children are dealing with obesity, while thirty-five percent of Hispanic and African-American children are dealing with obesity.
As revealed in the journal Institute of Medicine in an article entitled “Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance”, hospital costs for children that are obesity related have actually tripled in the past twenty years and have cost more than $125 million. Researchers are further attributing issues with obesity with a decrease in physical activity along with the incorporation of poor eating practices. The intake of fast food is cited as one of the significant problems in the nation which contribute to the obesity related issue; in an article appearing in the journal Pediatrics entitled “Effects of Fast-Food Consumption on Energy Intake and Diet Quality Among Children in a National Household Survey,” researchers assert that one third of American children are consuming fast food on a daily basis.
The diseases that overweight children are prone to developing later in life include cancers like endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer, coronary heart disease, dyslipidemia, abnormal menses, infertility, hypertension, liver disease, gallbladder disease, and osteoarthritis. Other issues obese children can develop include issues with respiratory functioning, sleep apnea, stroke, and type 2 Diabetes. Psychosocial risks also exist for children facing issues with obesity; overweight children are at higher risk for developing esteem issues and a lack of self esteem can lead to serious socialization issues. In addition, obesity can cause a child to suffer not only socially but academically, too.