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By Charlotte McGowan

Table of contents
1.what is childhood obesity
3. Health
4. Reactions
5. How it is Measured
6. Treatments

Imagine you were someone who couldn't fit in an airplane seat ,and you weren't able to do the
things you love or want to because your weight. Now it's time to read about the days and lives
of obese children.
Childhood Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. It affects more than 30% of
children, making it the most common serious disease of childhood. In this book, you will read
about the following: what child obesity is, how obese children behave, obesity health, reactions
to obesity, how obesity is measured, obesity treatments, and many other facts about childhood

Chapter 1: What Is Child Obesity? Children are defined as obese if their body
mass index for age (BMI) percentile is greater than 95%. A child is defined as overweight if
their BMI for age percentile is greater than 85% and less than 95%. According to the Obesity
Action Organization (an organization that specializes in childhood obesity), symptoms of obesity
include: heart disease, High cholesterol ( when fat in blood vessels starts to occur), high blood
pressure( when too much blood comes in or slows blood system down), diabetes ( when a
disease effects too much sugar in a person blood pressure), sleep apnea ( a serious sleep
disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts)and cancer ( a disease in which
abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue).
Aside from the physical effects, children who are obese face social discrimination, leading to low
self-esteem and depression.

Environments Role
According to Obesity Action, the environment works in shaping the habits and perceptions of
children and adolescents. The prevalence of television
commercials promoting unhealthy foods and eating habits is a
large contributor. In addition, children are surrounded by
environmental influences that demote the importance of
physical activity.

Lack Of Physical Activity

Children in todays society show a decrease in overall physical
activity. The growing use of computers, increased time
watching television and decreased physical education in
schools, all contribute to children and adolescents living a
more sedentary lifestyle.

According to Obesity Action (OA), Increasing physical activity can decrease, or at least slow it
down fatty tissues in obese children. The US Surgeon General recommends that children get at
least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Individualized programs are available and
possible for those children or adolescents that are not able to meet minimum expectations.

Heredity and Family

Science shows that genetics play a role in obesity. It has been proven that 70% of children who
are obese, will become obese in adulthood.
Estimates say that heredity contributes between 5 to 25 percent of the risk for Dietary Patterns
Over the past few decades, dietary patterns have changed significantly. The average amount of
calories consumed per day by has dramatically increased. Furthermore, the increase in caloric
intake has also decreased the nutrients needed for a healthy diet.

Socioeconomic Status

Children and Adolescents that come from lower-income homes are at greater risk of being
obese. This is a result of several factors that influence behaviors and activities.
Lower-income children cannot always afford to partake in extracurricular activities, resulting in a
decrease in physical activity. In addition, families who struggle to pay bills and make a living
often opt for convenient foods, which are higher in calories, fat and sugar.
Educational levels also contribute to the socioeconomic issue associated with obesity. Parents
with little to no education have not been exposed to information about proper nutrition and
healthy food choices. This makes it difficult to instill those important values in their children.
A major factor contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic is the increased sedentary lifestyle
of children. School-aged children spend most of their day in school where their only activity
comes during recess or physical education classes. In the past, physical education was required
on a daily basis. Currently, only 8 percent of elementary schools and less than 7 percent of
middle schools and high schools have daily physical education requirements in the U.S.
Today, more and more children are being diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension and other comorbid conditions associated with obesity and morbid obesity.

Chapter 2: Behavior
Lifestyles and behaviors are established at a young age. It is important for children to remain
educated and focused on making long-term health.
However, genes alone do not always dictate whether a child is affected by excess weight or
obesity. Learned behaviors from parents are a major contributor.
Parents, especially of those whose children are at risk for obesity at a young age, should
promote healthy food and lifestyle choices early in their development.
There are several ways that children and adolescents can modify their behavior for healthier
outcomes, such as: changing eating habits, increasing physical activity, becoming educated
about the body and how to nourish it appropriately, engaging in a support group or
extracurricular activity and setting realistic weight management.

As you see
this a pie chart of
behaviors affected by
child obesity in different
parts of the world.

Chapter 3: Health
Children who are obese can get healthy just by doing these things: eating healthy, getting
enough sleep, exercising as much as they can, taking baths or showers, Brushing teeth, and
many more.Nutrition, sleep , and exercise are the three most important parts of good health in
average humans.If child is obese, you will see these things: eating unhealthy food, not
exercising enough, might have a sickness, disease or Health issue/ disorder, may become
weak or slim.
Many people say that tv time should only be an hour per day, because more than than one or
two hours can damage a child's brain and make their brain not function normally. Having tv time
right before bed can depend on the child's age. However, if a child is 10 or older, screen time
before bed should limited or else it will interfere with their sleep cycle.
Food portions also play an important role in the unhealthy diet patterns that have evolved.
The prevalence of super size options and all you can eat buffets create a trend in overeating.
Combined with a lack of physical activity, children are consuming more and burning off less.

Children and adolescents that come from lower-income homes are at greater risk of being
obese. This is a result of several factors that influence behaviors and activities.Today,according
to OA, it is estimated that approximately 40 to 50 percent of every dollar that is spent on food is
spent on food outside the home in restaurants, cafeterias, sporting events, etc. In addition, as
portion sizes have increased, when people eat out they tend to eat a larger quantity of food
(calories) than when they eat at home.

Chapter 4: Reactions
Many children who are obese tend to react differently due to their health. Reactions you may
see in obese children: might not be paying attention,start feeling more tired than usual, feel sick
more, might become bored a lot more, might eat more or less, and many more.
Many obese children show other reactions that include: skin swelling up, scars, bumps, spots ,
skin gets infected,gaining weight,start getting itchy, and many more
Other reactions include: being mad, may be in pain, might need to take a certain kind of
medicine, they might do things quicker or slower than usual, their brain might function differently,
might Develop an unhealthy thing, and many more.

Chapter 5: How

It Is Measured

Obesity in children is determined by using BMI ( body mass index) -for-age percentiles. BMIfor-age percentiles have emerged as the favored method to measure weight status in children.
This method calculates a childs weight category based on age and BMI, which is a calculation
of weight and height.
However, it should be kept in mind that this method, among other methods, should be used as
a tool, and only a physician can best determine and diagnose weight status in a child.

BMI is the most common method for Measurement for adult obesity. However, BMI is now
becoming a popular tool, which is combined with BMI-for-age percentiles, used to measure
obesity in children. BMI is a number calculated by dividing a persons weight in kilograms by his
or her height in meters squared.

As you
can see, there is a
graph below that shows
measurements of
children who are

Chapter 6: Treatments
Treating obesity in children and adolescents differs from Treatment in adults. Involving the
family in a childs weight management program is a key element to treatment. As a support
system, family is integral in ensuring weight management goals are met.The various treatments
of obesity in children and adolescents include:Diet therapy,Physical activity,Behavior
modification,Surgery,and Diet therapy.When treating an obese child or adolescent, it is often
recommended that they have a treating obesity in children and adolescents differs from
treatment in adults. Involving the family in a childs weight management program is a key
element to treatment. As a support system, family is integral in ensuring weight management
goals are met.It is important to talk with a physician about options for treating childhood obesity.
The various treatments of obesity in children and adolescents include Diet therapy,Physical
activity,Behavior modification, and surgery. It is often recommended that they have a
consultation with a nutritionist that specializes in childrens needs. Nutritionists can best help
children understand healthy eating habits and how to implement them in their long-term diet
consultation with a nutritionist that specializes in obesity.

As you can see,

below is a chart of the
testing results aside from
the treatments for the
children who were


"The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk" -Tom Vilsack
What are obese children asking for?
Here are a few:
- good health
- better food choices
- ability to do more things

And there are many more.

Now that you know about childhood obesity, visit your local food pantry to see how you can
help: donate food, drive food to a hospital or shelter, donate money, as well as many more
things you can do to help. If you want to learn more about childhood obesity visit:


Adolescent: Growing in manhood or womanhood; youthful

Behavior: How a person acts to something or someone

BMI: Body mass index is a measure of fat based on height and weight that applies to all
children, boys and girls

Health: The general condition of the body or mind with references to soundness and vigor

Measurement: To measure something in height, length, width. And or percentage and


Obesity: A disease that leads to weight gain or loss in a persons body based health

Reactions: How a person acts showing emotions to a person or a thing

Treatment: Something that can help cure a sickness or a disease