America is facing an epidemic of enormous proportions

America is facing - America is facing an epidemic of enormous proportions childhood obesity Defined as the state of being above ones normal weight

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America is facing an epidemic of enormous proportions: childhood obesity. Defined as the state of being above one’s normal weight, a child once had to be diagnosed as being more than 20 percent of their ideal weight to be considered obese. In the present day, the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that a person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 and above (which relates to 30 pounds) is now considered obese. A child’s height, age, sex and build help establish their ideal weight. Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to such levels that a person’s health can be negatively affected. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ranked obesity as the number one health threat in America, with an estimated 400,000 deaths annually. Being simply overweight is not as dangerous as being obese. An overweight child can easily lose a few pounds by monitored diets and exercise, and usually regains a healthy body and mind. Obese children cannot accomplish this as easily, no matter how much effort is exerted. Obesity not only affects a child’s lifestyle, it also leads to low self-esteem, which leads to depression and discomfort. Negative emotions, such as boredom, sadness, stress and anger, can also jump-start bad eating habits. These and other psychological factors may bring children to use food as medicine. Numerous research studies have confirmed that poor eating habits, lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle are the prime contributors to obesity. Because of on-the-go lifestyles, fast food consumption and microwave meals, children have sacrificed their health. Instead of eating pure, wholesome foods, many children opt to eat a diet of packaged, processed and refined foods because American families are constantly on the move and have lost the concept of family meals at the dinner table.
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In 1993, endocrine researchers discovered that leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells, not only controls food intake, but also impacts other functions that are affected by energy balance that could relate to obesity. High leptin levels trigger growth and readiness for re-accumulation of leptin in the blood. However, obese children respond poorly to leptin, which suggests the
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This note was uploaded on 11/26/2011 for the course HCA 220 taught by Professor James during the Spring '08 term at University of Phoenix.

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America is facing - America is facing an epidemic of enormous proportions childhood obesity Defined as the state of being above ones normal weight

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