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Exercise and Childhood Obesity

             Obesity is an epidemic growing at alarming rates, not only in the United States, but also all over the world. In my opinion, the best way to prevent this epidemic becoming a pandemic is to stop this disease at its roots. In plain terms, obese children equate to obese adults. There are many possible causes for childhood obesity but 99% of the time the problem is inactivity.
             Childhood obesity is on the rise. In 1971, only 6 percent of children aged 6 to 11 were considered obese. As of 1999, the percentage of obese children has risen to three times in that many of decades. Now, do not assume that a child is overweight because he is a little pudgy. Remember, they are children and still have a lot of growing to do. In some cases when a child begins puberty, they will as some say, "grow into their weight". There are three classes of obesity according to the body mass index scale, (BMI). Class One obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30.0-34.9. Class Two Obesity is a BMI of 35-39.9, and Class Three is a BMI of 40+.
             There are many problems associated with child hood obesity. The list is very extensive but some of the main problems plaguing obese children are type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and very low self esteem. A study was performed and showed self-esteem can be so low in some individuals that they actually rate their quality of life as low as young cancer patients on chemotherapy.
             Many obese people feel that they do not eat that much, they do exercise regularly, and the cause for their weight problem is something genetic or hormonal. In actuality, hormonal and genetic factors account for only 1% of obese cases. There are conditions such as Cushing's Disease or Hypothyroidism that can severely affect one's basal metabolic rate, which could cause obesity, but this is rarely the case.
             One thing American's love to do is eat. And why not, you have to eat to survive, so why not eat a whole lot of junk that tastes really good.

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