Childhood Obesity in the American Nation
How it works
Childhood obesity is still rising in this nation. One out of three Americans is obese. The outlook for children is not much better, as adolescent obesity has quadrupled over the last thirty years. “As of 2012, almost 18 percent of children aged 6-11 years were obese” (Newman, 1). Despite the considerable public awareness of the negative impacts of obesity, this challenge persists. The situation for youngsters is hardly brighter; over the last few decades, the rate of youth obesity has doubled and adolescent obesity has quadrupled (Newman, 1).
Recent studies at the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest University provided more troubling details about the state of childhood obesity. “Unfortunately, we found no decline in obesity in the United States across any age group from 2 to 19 years old,” says Ashley Skinner, Ph.D., the lead researcher. Skinner and her team acquired their data from the National Examination Survey, a project with years of data collected from numerous American households. This data revealed that, during 2013-2014, over 33% of children aged 2-9 were overweight, and 17% were obese. These obese children are likely to face health issues in the future unless they make radical changes to their eating habits. Approximately 4.5 million children and adolescents suffer from obesity, highlighting the urgent need for robust efforts to help them adopt healthier lifestyles. Studies show that childhood obesity correlates to poor health and reduced lifespan in adulthood.
Dr. Sarah Armstrong, from Duke University, agrees with the findings of this study from her own daily observations. Skinner is hopeful that her findings will catalyze change. This national health problem necessitates a fundamental transformation in our dietary habits. We need a more robust healthcare curriculum that includes physical education and ready access to community resources like parks and walking trails. These measures, implemented collectively, can make a difference. Obesity will not resolve itself — the more we can spread awareness about the issue, the better off we will be as a society.
After reading the article, I’m shocked at the statistics about obesity. The rate of obesity among children is alarmingly high. Being obese as a child must be extremely challenging — it can diminish their self-esteem and athletic abilities. I have witnessed children being ridiculed in school because they were overweight. Before reading this article, I was unaware of the extent of the obesity problem. I am curious as to why the author did not interview teenagers about their experiences with childhood obesity. It would also be interesting to investigate the different metabolic rates among kids. Investing in research aimed at increasing metabolic rates for those with slow metabolism could be beneficial.
After reading the article, I am more knowledgeable about this disease. The article has motivated me to adopt a healthier diet to ensure a longer lifespan. If I share what I’ve learned from this article with friends and family, it could help them lead healthier lifestyles, too.
Childhood obesity falls under the categories of physiology and anatomy, and could lead to careers as physical scientists or physicians.