PHE 340 Final Project.docx - Childhood Obesity 1 Childhood...

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Childhood Obesity 1 Childhood Obesity Whitney L. Tarkington SNHU PHE 340: Social and Behavioral Health Final Project Dr. Orie Achonwa February 21, 2021
Childhood Obesity 2 Childhood Obesity The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines overweight as a “body mass index (BMI) at or above the 85 th percentile and below the 95 th percentile for children and teens of the same age and same sex”, while obesity is defined as “a BMI at or above the 95 th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex” (CDC, 2019). Because a child’s body composition changes as they age and varies between sexes, their weight is calculated using an age and sex specific percentile BMI (CDC, 2019). The body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square height in meters. For example, a boy who is 9 years 11 months old, weighs 105 pounds (47.63 kilograms) and is 57 inches (2.1 meters squared) tall would have a BMI of 22.7 placing him in the 96 th percentile for 9-year-old boys which places him in the obese category. Childhood obesity is a very real and concerning issue in the United States affecting about 13.7 million children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 years old (CDC, 2019). Of those 13.7 million, 13.9% was among 2-to5-year old, 18.4% was among 6-to-11-year-old, and 20.6% was among12-to-19-year-old (CDC, 2019). Childhood obesity presents and takes course through consuming high calorie, high sugar foods, lack of physical activity, poor sleep habits, and hormonal issues. As with anything in life, each population will be affected differently. In reference to childhood obesity, Hispanics appear to be affected the most at 25.8% while Non- Hispanic Asians are affected the least at 11% (CDC, 2019). Many issues can arise in regard to obesity; these include physical, social/emotional, and financial issues. Physical issues can include an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain, breathing problems (such as sleep apnea), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and even some cancers (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Social/emotional
Childhood Obesity 3 issues include lower self-esteem and an increased risk of depression and anxiety that stem from bullying and teasing (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Financially speaking, obesity costs the United States healthcare system $147 billion a year (Why It Matters/Physical Activity/CDC, 2019). The physical, social/emotional, and financial complications make childhood obesity a public health issue; if addressed properly, the adult obesity rate could be reduced resulting in a healthier population. Social, Behavioral, Cultural Factors As with any public health issue, there are social, behavioral, and cultural factors to consider. When looking at childhood obesity the prevalence varies among ethnic groups, age, sex, education levels, and socioeconomic status. In a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, from 2015-2016 childhood obesity was most prevalent among Hispanic (25.58%) children and non-Hispanic Black (22.0%) children while non-Hispanic white children were ranked at 14.0% (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). From personal conversations with various Hispanic

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