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Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents

Submitted by Stella Morgan on January 21, 2011

Obesity is measured by the BMI or the Body Mass Index. This Index is measured by the equation weight/height², though this equation is more commonly used to classify obesity among adults, the same equation is also used for children for find out obesity amongst children.

In the last 40 years, obesity has grown drastically in USA, among children and adolescents. It is a matter of worry for health department because childhood obesity means, overweight adolescents, who often grow to be overweight adults.

From 1960 to 1980, the percentage of obese children and adolescents was relatively low; however the increase began from the years 1980 and onwards where there is almost two fold increase in number of obese amongst children and adolescents.

For survey purposes, the data was collected using a mobile van, here the measurements of children were taken, after holding an interview with them, and taking their measurements as to height, weight and other comprehensive body measurements. The criteria of measurements were fixed by taking into account suggestions provided by the experts regarding this survey.

The reason why there is general alarm in the health departments about obesity is that many of the obese adolescents will grow into obese adults and this will result into increase of health complications faced by the obese.

This will also lead to a negative effect on public health of the country.

One of the objectives of the National Health departments is to reduce obesity by the year 2010. This is to prevent another generation of overweight adults, reduction in number of overweight adolescents will automatically reduce the numbers of overweight adults. This will be beneficial for general social health.

Obesity gives a number of health problems.

These range from early diabetes to heart disease. Obesity also plays a role in blood pressure problems. There are other complexities attached with obesity, like low fertility, joint pains, severe depression, etc. Therefore, it is extremely necessary that there is brought about a strict reduction in numbers of obese children and adolescents by providing parents and children with proper counseling and diet plans.

Educating general public about inclusion of certain essential food in regular diet is of utmost importance. There is also a necessity of letting people know that inclusion of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and poultry is extremely important as well as reduction in eating packaged food should be sought as fast as possible. This will surely help bringing down the percentage of obesity among children.

Read about what is BMI chart and how to use it.

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