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Pediatric Obesity - 1 Pediatric Obesity Pediatric Obesity...

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1 Pediatric Obesity Pediatric Obesity Alyssa Garr Camille Rogers Life Science Communications 100 University of Wisconsin-Madison 18 October 2010
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2 Obesity is controlling the future of American society. The prevalence of pediatric obesity has gotten to the point of being a medical epidemic defined by the weight to height ratio. This might be the first generation that does not outlive their parents due to all of the negative impacts pediatric obesity has on a child’s body. According to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign to raise a healthier generation of children, “Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. One third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives; many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma” (Obama, 2010). Obesity has become one of the most urgent public health problems in the United States as well as internationally. In order for this rising epidemic to decline, everyone needs to help make a culture change to our society. If America does not make an effort to stop pediatric obesity now, the chance to change a child’s life might be lost forever. Not only does pediatric obesity have an affect on the child physically, the social and mental aspects of the medical condition are tragic towards the child’s wellbeing. How obesity is defined is very critical towards the child’s diagnosis. According to the Obesity Research Journal, “I n the United States, ~21.2% of children aged 2–5 years are overweight (age- and sex-specific BMI 85th–94th percentile) and 10.4% are obese (BMI ≥95th percentile)”(Taveras, 2010). Obesity can also be defined due to different standards from either the height to waist ratio or the body mass index. According to Bio Medical Central Journal, “Body Mass Index (BMI) is widely used to assess the impact of obesity on cardiometabolic risk in children but it does not always relate to central obesity and varies with growth and maturation. Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) is a relatively constant anthropometric index of abdominal
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3 Pediatric Obesity obesity across different age, sex or racial groups” (Mokha, 2010). Depending on if one defines obesity due to body mass index or waist to height ratio, one has to keep in mind the differences between age, sex, and race. However, disregarding these differences obesity is still heavily influenced by parents, genetics, and marketing in the media. The life history of an obese child is crucial to the diagnosis of his or her obesity. For example, whoever was the main caretaker of the child played a major role in his or her medical future. The caretaker makes decisions for the child like what to feed the child on a daily basis.
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