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As a major public health problem, childhood obesity has become the issue of concern in the USA. Currently, about a third of young people are obese or overweight that is more than 22 million. The term “overweight” refers to children and teenagers, who have a body mass index (BMI) over/at the 85th but lower than the 95th percentile for their sex and age, while “obese” are those with a BMI above/at the 95th percentile. Childhood obesity is considered to be a nationwide epidemic and one of the leading causes of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart diseases. That is why its prevention and reduction are among the tasks of national importance.

The rate of obesity has become twice as large among children from 2 to 5 years (from 5.0% to 12.4%), increased nearly in three times among children from 6 to 11 years (from 6.5% to 17%) and multiplied by three in youngsters at the age of 12-19 years (from 5.0% to 17.6%) during the last thirty years. Thus, there is a dramatic obesity’s growth in the country. The 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey points out that 13% of high school students suffer from corpulence, and their share continues to grow (CDC). The obesity level varies in different states and ethnic groups. It is indicated that Afro-American girls and Hispanic-American boys were more probably to be obese than White Americans. Moreover, extreme obesity is observed in children from low-income families.

The prevention of obesity in childhood is vital: an obese child at the age of 4 has a 20% possibility to be obese in adulthood, but the likelihood of an obese teenager rises to 80%. Hence, the present American children are in danger of living sicker and dying younger than the previous generations. The risk of asthma in obese children and teenagers increases to 60%. They are also at a higher risk for sleep apnea, fatty liver, orthopedic-related and psychosocial problems. The rise in juvenile overweight is connected with a growing amount of young people with diabetes of type 2, especially among minorities. Obese children and teenagers have a high risk for cardiovascular diseases, containing abnormal glucose tolerance, high blood pressure and cholesterol level. The study shows that about 7% of obese children are at risk of least one cardiovascular disease, but 39% have two or more risk factors.

Obesity and health problems associated with it have a considerable financial influence on the U.S. health system. The expenditures on health are shocking: the disease costs almost 10% of the country’s medical budget, which is $150 billion per year. Only childhood obesity is estimated at $14 billion yearly in direct health care costs. The conducted research found that children suffering from obesity were absent in schools more often than students with average weight. Such nonattendance is also expensive to the school system.

 The steps taken to help decrease disease prevalence in society are as follows: improved nutrition service, healthier school environment, more physical activity programs, and effective health education. The school environment, which promotes healthy eating among students, is a national strategy to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. There are a number of programs designed to combat the problem. For instance, the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project is aimed at improving youngsters’ physical activity and nutrition in the places where they play, learn, and live. The innovative approach includes a combination of preventive care changes in the visits of doctor and supportive changes in child care centers, schools, and public places such as parks and retail food stores. Community health workers have to provide necessary information to minorities, limited English proficiency, and hard-to-reach communities about disease regulation and prevention. In general, the work focuses on the strategies that improve kids’ health by involving communities, family members, and children themselves. 

In conclusion, there is no single key to the problem, but the primary solution is the understanding of healthy choice importance in childcare settings, schools as well as in the whole society.

Code: Sample20

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