Childhood Obesity in America

Statement Describing the Challenge

Childhood obesity is a rising problem in our country�1 out of every 3 kids are now considered overweight or obese. This is most likely caused by the decrease in physical activity due to videos and Nintendo games. Families, as their schedules get busier, are spending less time planning nutrition into their meals and are more likely to purchase fast food, which has a much higher fat and calorie content than most home-cooked meals. Obesity is determined using the Body Mass Index (BMI). The basic concept behind this index is to divide weight by the height of the child figure out what percentage of the body mass is fat. It is important to determine whether or not the child is over-weight because of the lasting physical and emotional effects that can result because of obesity. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and depression are only a few of these effects. Many of the diseases get worse as the child matures into adulthood and therefore, prevention and early action are key to keeping the effects of childhood obesity at bay.

Non-Drug Treatments

This is the only kind of recommended treatment. Exercise: Encourage kids to be physically active every day in a sport or other recreational activity. Healthy Eating Habits: Don't reward kids for good behavior or try to stop bad behavior with sweets or treats. Don't classify foods as bad or good to avoid emotional attachment to food. Plan nutrition into meals and snacks to avoid unnecessary calories. Make a habit of serving the right kinds of nutritious foods in the right amounts (smaller portions). Limit sugar-sweetened beverages Support: Make it a family affair- Make regular exercise a family goal to provide support. Talk positively about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Practice what you preach- set a good example of healthy eating and exercise for your child

Alternative Medicine Treatments

Alternative Medicine is not recommended for treating obesity in children. Their bodies react quickly to eating habit and exercise habit changes. Any other type of treatment can cause stunts in growth or development.

Drug Therapy

Drug treatments for obesity are not recommended for children.