Addressing Childhood Obesity: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

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Obesity’s Lethal Links: Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer, and More

The United States of America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. As Francis Scott Key said, “The land of the free home of the brave,” ever since we exonerate that phrase. Many rejoice in all the good in this country, but thousands of people blindside the skyrocketing obesity epidemic. This problem has been growing, and people seem to have a lot to say about obesity, but there is not much action being taken. There are numerous amounts of diseases that are a consequence of obesity, these diseases alone are not as deadly, but being overweight makes them more rigorous.

Mental illness is another factor that can be caused due to obesity. There are many ways to prevent this rising problem among Americans, such as encouraging eating habits from a young age. Engraving good eating habits can lead to a healthy lifestyle. This may seem easy to do, but there are many setbacks that, include monetary issues and the effortless access to unhealthy food. Schools also play an important role in this as well they are supposed to provide high-quality physical activity to children across the nation. This helps many children get the daily physical activity that allows them to create a healthy lifestyle.

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According to WebMD, obesity means that your BMI is 30 percent or higher. BMI stands for body mass index; this is a way to measure a person’s body fat. This measurement requires your height and weight; many believe that this is an indirect measurement. (Quinn, Elizabeth) On the other hand, it has been found to be reliable. Determining your BMI is a simple calculation that can help you see what disease you could be prone to. (Captcha) Research shows that your BMI can predict your “morbidity and mortality that are due to numerous chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and stroke “. (Ian Jansen) This indicates how severe obesity is; it’s the result of many contributing factors; for instance, behavior includes the following physical activity, eating habits, inactivity, medication, and other factors. (“Health Risks Linked to Obesity.”)

This problem is greatly affecting children not only in North America but nationally as well. In a scholarly article by Deckelbaum, Richard J., “Approximately 22 million children under five years of age are overweight across the World.” This quote exemplifies how far this problem has grown and that it is affecting people all over the world, and children are obese before the age of 5. Here in the United States, obesity has been a problem for the last three decades, and it has doubled since. (Deckelbaum, Richard J)

It has also been studied that this number is also doubling around the world; it is also common in developing countries and developing nations. Since the 1970s, the obesity problem has arisen in the United States, and as stated before, it continues to increase tremendously. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has shown data from studies that demonstrate how much obesity continues to affect our country. In the year 2015-2016, one in five children and teens from ages six to nineteen years old were obese in the United States. (“Healthy Schools.”) This is a wake-up call for many; we can have children before even starting school struggle with diseases due to obesity.

Furthermore, as many know, obesity can lead to severe diseases. It also happens to have immediate and long-term effects on children, which then carry on to adulthood. This has a great effect on instruction because children who are overweight are more likely to be bullied, and it then leads to depression. (“Healthy Schools.”) It also makes children not want to participate because of their weight, and they are potentially afraid that they will be teased if they can not complete a task due to their weight.

Children not only suffer from depression but also become socially isolated, which creates low self-esteem. (“Healthy Schools) It is highly common to be obese as an adult if you suffer from childhood obesity; this comes with a higher risk such as developing the following diseases; type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. All of these diseases are deadly; in fact, being overweight increases your blood pressure, which means you are at risk of having a stroke. According to OAC (Obesity et al.), in the united states, more than 795,000 people have a stroke every year.

This indicates how deadly a stroke can be 130,000 Americans die because of a stroke, it also happens to fall under the number one leading cause of death, heart disease, and it can eventually disable if you suffer a stroke. (“Obesity and Stroke”). Another disease that happens due to obesity is type 2 diabetes; there are many factors that play a role in developing type 2 diabetes, such as race, age, family history, and so forth. The most common way to develop type 2 diabetes is when someone becomes overweight. Lastly, I found this very interesting I was not aware that obesity can lead to cancer.

Being overweight does not necessarily mean that you’ll develop cancer; it just increases your chances compared to someone who is living a healthy lifestyle. (“Does Obesity Cause Cancer?”) The risk of developing cancer can be reduced tremendously by just losing weight and making healthier choices. Cancer is a deadly disease, and it connects to obesity when there is an excess amount of fat in the body. (Captcha) There was a study that showed that This causes your body to send out unnecessary signals through your, causing cell division more often than the adequate amount, which then leads to tumors and then comes the deadly disease. (Does Obesity Cause Cancer?”) The most common types of cancer caused by obesity in women are breast cancer which only results after menopause. For men, the most common is bowel cancer.

Insights from Research

The following article focuses on the effects of obesity and the prognosis of breast cancer. The connection between obesity and breast cancer is also emphasized; the BMI (body mass index) of the patients was used to find and help women treat early-stage breast cancer. The research showed that for patients who had a BMI of 30 or higher, their cancer was more advanced and less likely to be treated. This study helped, and I learned that obesity can cause cancer, and women who are overweight or obese are more prone to breast cancer.

The journal focuses on the obesity epidemic and the statistic that demonstrates how much this problem has grown. According to the article, 22 million children are overweight worldwide, and the worst part is that they are under the age of 5. This all comes down to their dietary lifestyle and the amount of physical activity they are engaging in. The article states that when a child is obese, they are more likely to become obese adults.

Due to the number of children being affected by obesity, Type 2 diabetes has become dominant in obese children and adolescents. The article also demonstrates how obesity has increased in us over the past decades. The increase has been all across the board; it has affected different races and ethnic groups. Some are affected more than others. This journal helped me learn how out of hand this issue has grown and how there are children in developing countries who are obese. It emphasizes how obesity is affecting many worldwide.

This article helped me in various ways, such as what BMI (body mass index) is and how it is helpful to us. If your BMI is 30 or higher, you are prone to diseases such as heart strokes, Diabetes, and High blood pressure, and it can even be linked to cancer. It also shows how just because someone is obese, you are not going to have all these diseases that’s when your family history plays a role. The extra weight that you may have will most likely be linked to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is also very common for overweight and obese people. I also learned that certain types of cancers have been linked to obesity.

The CDC (center for disease control and Prevention) states that obesity has tripled since the ’70s. The statistics show that 1 in 5 school-age children are obese in America. Obeses has been defined as having excess body fat; this also plays an important role when determining your BMI (body mass index). This article talks about the different factors that play a role in childhood obesity, for example, genetics, metabolism, community, and physical activity. Some of these factors can not be changed, but eating habits and the amount of physical activity can be changed. This article helped me understand the severity of obesity but also helped me understand that everyone plays a part in the development of a child, and there are changes that can be made to reduce the obesity rates.

This journal article talks about how waist circumference and BMI determine obesity-related health risks. They also believed that one was more reliable in predicting health risks, so they tested several participants. To determine which one was the predictor of health risk, they used continuous variables in the same regression. In the end, this showed that waist circumference was the better predictor for comfortability. The article was very helpful because it talked about all the chronic diseases that were linked to obesity. I also learned that another way to determine health risks could be by using the waist circumference, which is the fat around someone’s waist.

Education, Community & Lifestyle

In 2008 the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) estimated the national cost of obesity, which was $147 billion dollars. (Overweight & Obesity.”) This is an incredibly large amount of money that’s being invested into a disease that is contributing to the leading cause of death in America. There are many ways that we can prevent this disease that continues to affect our children, and they will carry that into their adulthood, which comes with many consequences.

Many factors play a role in childhood obesity, such as genetics, metabolism, communities, sleep, eating habits, and physical activity behaviors. (Overweight & Obesity) As many of us are aware, we cannot change genetics; on the other hand, people and the places that surround us can help us obtain a healthy weight. For instance, the communities, media, food, and restaurants have a great influence on what children choose to consume. In fact, students believe it’s easier and cheaper to grab a bag of chips for breakfast from the local gas station rather than a healthy alternative because it costs more.

The changes have to start in the home, school, and communities. These are the places that play the biggest effects on the children. Since children spend the majority of their time at school, that is where they should help them eat more fruits and vegetables. Students should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day and be encouraged to consume less food and beverages that are high in sugar. (Healthy Schools) Increasing the intake of physical activity helps maintain children at a healthy weight. In fact, this goes way back to when the child is in the womb. The way a mother takes care of her body physically affects her child in the long run. It is recommended to avoid gaining excess weight, which also helps control Diabetes. (Deckelbaum, Richard J.,) During the child’s infant stage, it is highly recommended to breastfeed until six months; around this age, many parents introduce solid foods to their infants. What they don’t keep in mind is that they should maintain a balanced diet for their child.

This will help them avoid an excess of high-calorie intake, and their weight should be carefully monitored. (Deckelbaum, Richard J.) During a child’s preschool years, that is when they should be introduced to different foods and flavors, but developing healthy food preferences is key because this will engrave healthy eating habits. Parents should monitor a child’s height and weight. This helps prevent adiposity rebound, which can lead to obesity later on. (Deckelbaum, Richard J.) A great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle is by providing a child with nutrition education; beforehand, the parents must be educated on this topic as well.

During their childhood, the parents must still be monitoring the child’s weight since they are growing and in need of lots of different sources of vitamins. Not only should a child be provided nutritional education during their preschool years but during their childhood as well, and physical activity should always be encouraged daily. (Deckelbaum, Richard J.) The Prevention of obesity starts with the choices a pregnant mother makes for their child. After the child is born, there are many factors that will play a role in their life. It’s the parents, community, and school to provide the best they can to help create a healthy lifestyle.

As this Obesity epidemic continues to change many lives in a negative way, there is so much more we can do to help this cause. It’s not an issue that can be taken for granted anymore. Many lives are being taken because of this disease which is tragic, and it is a primary factor for the leading number one leading cause of death in the U.S., which is heart disease. I believe that children should have a longer lifespan, which means that before their conceived, their mothers should prioritize their health because it affects them when they are older. It begins with the mother being educated and then providing that nutritional education to their child.

Not only acquiring that knowledge but also making it a reality, watching a child’s weight, introducing them to fruits and vegetables, and taking them out to play rather than being glued to a screen tv. These small changes make a difference in their life. It helps them live a healthier lifestyle. This then leads to them making healthier life choices when they are on their own; communities and schools play important roles in a child’s life. A community can provide recreational parks for children to play and have fun. Most of all, schools should provide children with daily physical activity that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle.


  1. Deckelbaum, Richard J., and Christine L. Williams. “Childhood Obesity: The Health Issue.” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Wiley-Blackwell, 17 Sept. 2012.
  2. “Health Risks Linked to Obesity.” WebMD, WebMD,
  3. Ian Janssen, Peter T Katzmarzyk, Robert Ross; Waist circumference and not body mass index explains obesity-related health risk, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 79, Issue 3, 1 March 2004, Pages 379–384

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Addressing Childhood Obesity: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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