Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”-too few calories expended
for the amount of calories consumed-and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and
environmental factors (Daniels, 2005; Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2010). Childhood
obesity has increased at an alarming rate over the past twenty years. Nearly one in five children
are battling this condition today. If patterns predict the future, within the next twenty years,
almost all children of America will be living with heart disease, diabetes, and dying younger due
Most causes of childhood obesity are not enough exercise and too much television.
Children need to be active at least 60 minutes a day and drink eight ounces of water a day to
maintain a healthy weight. On top of the exercise, children need to be eating the right amount of
foods and have a balanced nutrition. Genetics also plays a role in childhood obesity because
genes determine how your body stores and burns fat. Obesity is something you don’t want
anyone in your family to struggle with.
Childhood obesity can have immediate and lifelong health effects. Some immediate
effects can range from cardiovascular disease to high blood pressure. Obese children are at
greater risk of getting bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and psychological problems. The
lifelong effects that obese children can range from adulthood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and several
types of cancer. Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of
cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall
bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s
lymphoma (Kushi, 2006).