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Obesity - 1 Obesity A Growing Problem Obesity a growing...

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Obesity: A Growing Problem Obesity – a growing problem in young children, teenagers, and adults all across America. The problem has developed over generations and has been plaguing Americans for years. It is a well known fact that eating habits are set at an early age, proving to be difficult to change as life progresses. In twenty years, the percentage of children who are overweight has doubled and the percentage of adolescents who are obese has tripled (Grayson). Eating habits are generated in early years of development by one’s parents whom children look to for guidance. Genetics also play a very important role in obesity. Many times parents’ eating habits have been passed along with poor genetics, creating a deadly combination. In today’s world, these habits have taken a downfall with the development of the fast food industry, preserved food, and our busy lifestyle. In understanding the problem, we must first define the word, reasons, and complications of this crisis. By medical definition, doctors agree obesity is having a body mass index higher than 30, as the term overweight refers to having a body mass index higher than 25 (Obesity). Simply put, this is having excess fat cells as compared to other body weight, but there is a difference between obese and overweight. The body must metabolize the calories it does not use or it will be stored as fat until needed. The more exercise and activity an individual participates in, the more fuel the body will need to function correctly, burning off calories. When one does not create an even balance between activity levels and calorie intake levels, obesity can result. Since obesity is already affecting a vast majority of America’s population, it will take major changes to make a difference. Without proper guidance, people will find it difficult to make wise choices. Schools have taken the initiative to introduce healthy eating habits through nutrition classes, but these diet habits are rarely put into practice. 1
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Schools offer many other opportunities for learning and practicing healthful eating and physical activity behaviors. Coordinated changes in the classroom curriculum, the in-school programs all offer the potential to advance obesity prevention efforts. Schools can also assist parents by collecting and explaining information related to their child's weight status (Schools).
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