in the United States in children has grown greatly in recent years. Approximately
12.7 million children and adolescents are overweight. More people in the world
are dealing with obesity then suffering from hunger. Obesity is the easiest
medical condition to identify, but the most difficult to tackle. Obesity can
affect anyone, it just depends on some of the genes you have, and the life
style you are living. If someone is obese, that person should start to eat
healthier and exercise. If the obese person does not change their unhealthy
ways, they cannot expect to lose any weight. “The annual cost to society for
obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion” (aacap.org). If you are an
overweight child, you are more likely to become overweight as an adult, unless
that person changes their ways and maintains healthier patterns of eating and
exercise. Obesity most often takes place between ages 5 and 6. A person is not
considered obese unless that person is at least 10 percent higher than the
recommended weight for the body type and height of that person. Obesity is not
caused by just one thing, it is caused by many different things. A person’s
lifestyle, environment, habits are just some of the things that could cause
obesity.   Children
and adolescents that are overweight are now being diagnosed with many different
issues that could be temporary or lifelong. Impaired glucose tolerance (blood
glucose levels are higher than normal), type 2 diabetes, and some signs of
insulin resistance syndrome, and cardiovascular risk is just some of the risk
factors for obesity. Several other risk factors have been identified as
contributors to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk in
youth. Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease which affects the way the body
handles glucose. The pancreas oversees making a hormone called insulin. The
people with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but the cells do not use it as well
as it should be. If the person who is obese carries their extra weight in the
middle, it can cause insulin resistance. If you have insulin resistance, often
you have a group of conditions. The group of conditions could be, high blood
glucose, extra fat around the waste, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and
triglycerides. If a person has one condition, it seems to be you have several
others as well. If someone knows or thinks that they have a condition like
diabetes or high glucose, they should always go and talk to a doctor to be sure
that they have no other serious health issues. To name a few of these risk
factors that are contributors to cardiovascular disease are, abdominal fat,
increased body fat, and onset puberty. Kids and teens who are obese often have
lower self-esteem, which could then cause anxiety, depression or compulsive
disorder. Not only does being obese cause some children to have low self-esteem
and depression, it could also cause children to have a tough time making
friends. If a child is unable to make friends in school or anywhere it could
make their problems worse. When noticing that the child doesn’t have friends or
is unable to make friends, making them feel involved and loved at home is
important. My brother does not have many friends and a few years ago my mother saw
that my brother had been cutting himself, this could happen to anyone’s kids.
Being aware of what your children are doing to themselves is important, it is
not easy to see if a child is cutting themselves or fighting depression but
making them involved with whatever that person is doing will help a lot.   The
increases in obesity have been seen in all radical and ethic groups, some of
the groups being affected more than others. The lifestyle and environment
around the child also has an enormous impact on obesity. If the parent of the
child does not have time to prepare a healthy home cooked meal, the child will
be eating more processed and fast foods that are unhealthier than meals cooked
at home. Often poorer families have a higher rate of being obese, which would
just simply be because healthy foods are more expensive. I believe that healthy
foods are more expensive and that is way some people do not buy healthy foods.
If healthy foods were cheaper more people everywhere in the world would most
likely be less obese then we are.  When
the children are at home doing things inside that do require physical activity
they may crave unhealthy snacks. Most of the time cravings for unhealthy snacks
happens when the child is watching tv, playing video games or texting. When
children eat more than they need their bodies store the extra calories in fat
cells to use later for energy. If the body does not need the stored energy,
they develop fat cells and may become obese. Everyone has a metabolism, which
is the process where the body converts what you eat and drink into energy. The
metabolism is a biochemical process in which everything is combined with oxygen
to release your body with energy when it needs it. Certain foods can help to speed
up your metabolism, which are hot sauces, citrus fruits spices and green tea.  Medical
problems and genes also increase the chances of a child or anyone to becoming
obese. Some children are at greater risk for obesity just simply because of
genetics. There is nothing that the child could do to prevent it, the child has
inherited genes from their parents that make their bodies gain weight easily.
Some medical factors can cause increases in a child’s appetite. Some hormone
disorders or low thyroid function, and certain medicines, such as steroids or
anti-seizure medicines. Over time, any of these medical factors could increase
the risk of obesity.  The most common
forms of obesity often consist of different variations within many genes. A
genome-wide association study scans ton of thousands of genetic markers across
individual’s complete DNA to find gene variations that may possibly play a role
in common diseases, like obesity. Just by changing one part of the DNA that
encodes for a gene can change the genes action. Genome-wide association studies
have recognized more than 30 candidate genes on 12 chromosomes that are related
with the index of body mass. People who carry the promoting FTO gene variant
have a 23 percent higher risk to becoming obese than those who did not. The
genes we have from our parents have very little to do with being obese. The
things that have the greatest impact on being obese is how much physical
activity you do, or what kinds of foods you consume. Obviously if a person eats
fast food or unhealthy food all the time and does not do any physical activity
they will consistently gain weight.   To
fight weight issues, having family and everyone around you be involved will
help greatly. If the parent does not care about the child’s life, none of the
methods to fight weight issues is going to work. By getting the whole family on
a healthier track will make your eating habits become healthier. By becoming
more active benefits everyone, going on walks around the block, or even playing
at the play grounds could help. One way that would simply help to get children
to get healthier food is leading by example, If the children see the parents
eating vegetables or being active the children will want to join their parents
and do the same thing. If the child has a tough time eating healthier foods,
the parent could try to get them to help them cook dinner. If they are involved
with cooking the dinner, they might want to eat it since they helped prepare
it. Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If children eat
breakfast they are less likely to become obese because they will not snack all
morning long or eat a lot of food for lunch. With snacking, don’t allow snacks
to turn into a meal. Limiting snacks to be only 100-150 calories will still
allow room for more of an actual meal. Examples of healthier snack options
would be fruits, Greek yogurts, whole gain breads, milk and dairy products. Cutting
out candy would help tremendously, the average American eats about 25 pounds of
candy each year.  Once every two weeks
you could allow for a less healthy snack, but it could not become a habit. Most
parents do not realize how much they affect their child’s life. When going out
to dinner it is a good idea to avoid pizza places and fast food places. If
going to a fast food place or pizza place is the only option, getting a salad
or something healthy will be the best option. Some parents believe in making
their child finish everything on their plate, which is not necessary. Allow the
child to just stop eating when he/she has decided they are full. When dealing
with obese children, paying attention to warning signs of eating disorders is
important. Obese children who have low self esteem could develop some eating
disorders like anorexia or bulimia, these do not usually occur in children but can
occur in teens. Anorexia is when the child would have a lack of or loss of appetite.
Bulimia is a disorder emotionally involving distortion of body image and want
to lose weight. Basically, what happens is the person over eats and then forces
themselves to vomit it all out.