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Childhood and Adolescent Obesity

             Overweight and obese children and adolescents have become a major health concern and crisis nationally and internationally. The occurrence of childhood and adolescent obesity has grown over the past decade. The cause is due to an imbalance between caloric consumption and expenditure. The factors involved in the causation of obesity in children include genetic, behavioral, and environmental. These factors lead to physical, psychological and social health issues in children and adolescents suffering from this disease. Therefore, intervention, prevention and education strategies should be utilized and put in place to help benefit these children. The purpose of this paper is to address issues, the social and psychological health, factors of, health risks and intervention, prevention and the education of childhood obesity.
             A serious medical condition, childhood obesity, affects many of our children and adolescents on a national and international scale. Obesity can result from several factors including genetic, behavioral and environmental, not to forget to mention a caloric imbalance. Being overweight by definition is having extra body weight for a specific height from fat, muscle, bone, water or any mixture of these. Research shows that the development of healthy eating habits begins with parental examples, the relationship between child and parent(s) and how the family unit acts as a whole that might help decrease the level of childhood obesity seen today. These habits can be helpful if they are seen and available in schools and the communities in which these children live as well. The health issues that are involved with obesity of any kind but specifically in childhood obesity are high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, bullying or discrimination among peers, and heart disease and each of these medical outcomes due to obesity can be detrimental to childhood depression, academic achievement, social functioning and low self-esteem.

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