Childhood obesity has been prevalent these days, now that the food industry boosts a myriad of fast food restaurants and snacks that are just about every child’s dream. The repercussions that follow are various health concerns and diseases among children due to excessive craving to these foods. But just how critical is this phenomenon, you ask? In the United States today, the number of children aged between six and eleven that are obese is estimated to triple in the past thirty years!
A flabbergasting circumstance, indeed. According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, more than fifteen percent of all children aged between six and nineteen are overweight. The occurrence of obesity in children of preschool age has also doubled.
Different sources yield different statistics on obesity. Certain researchers conjecture that the number of obese children in the United States is 9 million. On the other hand, International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) estimates this number to be significantly larger. It is estimated that the number of obese children of schooling age is a whopping 155 million. Accordingly, the number of Type II Diabetes case has increased by more than 75 percent in the last twenty years. Of all these cases, 85 percent are attributed to obesity. As for coronary disease, the same percentage applies – 85 percent are also attributed to obesity.
In an article titled “Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in Balance” that appears in the journal Institute of Medicine, hospital cost for children with obesity-related ailments has also skyrocketed as it triples in the past twenty years and cost more than $ 125 million. Researchers conducting this study attribute obesity to lack of physical exercise and poor eating habits, one of the most significant of which is intake of fast food.
Various diseases may plague these obese children if they do not make a commitment to change their lifestyle. These diseases include cancers, coronary heart disease, infertility, hypertension, liver disease and others. Psychological distress may also ensue as obese children usually tend to have low self-esteem, thereby causing them to have fewer friends.