Childhood Obesity


M3A2 Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is in epidemic proportion in the United States. For this paper you will locate a research article on childhood obesity.

Your paper should discuss possible causes of childhood obesity, actions to possibly alleviate the problem and ways that sport and exercise are related to the issue.


The physical growth associated with puberty means that the body has special nutritional needs. A typical teenage girl should consume about 2,200 calories per day; a typical boy should consume about 2,700 calories. (The exact levels depend on a number of factors, including body composition, growth rate, and activity level.) Teenagers also need calcium for bone growth and iron to make extra hemoglobin, the matter in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Boys need additional hemoglobin because of their increased muscle mass; girls need hemoglobin to replace that lost during menstruation.

Unfortunately, although many U.S. teenagers consume enough calories each day, too much of their intake consists of fast food rather than well-balanced meals. The result of too many meals of burgers, french fries, and a shake is that teens may get inadequate iron or calcium and far too much sodium and fat. With inadequate iron, teens are often listless and moody; with inadequate calcium, bones may not develop fully, placing the person at risk later in life for osteoporosis.ObesityMany American children and adolescents are overweight. The technical definition of overweight is based on the body mass index (BMI), which is an adjusted ratio of weight to height. Children and adolescents who are in the upper 5% (very heavy for their height) are defined as being overweight. In the past 25 to 30 years, the number of overweight children has doubled and the number of overweight adolescents has tripled so that today roughly one child or adolescent out of six is overweight (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010b).




body mass index (BMI) an adjusted ratio of weight to height that is used to define overweight


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