Causes And Effects Of Child Obesity In America

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According to Tom Vilsack, the former American secretary of United States Secretary of Agriculture ‘The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk'(2010). As American children have a high consumption of high-calorie snacks and low consumption of vegetables, fruits, and dairy, childhood obesity has become more popular and it is defined as a major health problem in the USA due to the fact that obesity may cause other health problems such as sleep apnea, eating disorders and low self-esteem which results in shorter life expectancy of the generation. Despite the fact that Americans are told and warned about the consequences of childhood obesity, the number of childhood obesity cases are still uprising. This essay will describe two causes and two effects of childhood obesity which is about how children’s behavior and eating habits cause childhood obesity and its influences on the physical and psychological health of children.

Eating habit is one of the critical causes of childhood obesity. It is suggested that dietary factors included the fast food consumption, sugary beverages, snack foods, and portion sizes can affect the rate of obesity(Sahoo al.,2015). Fast food culture is popular among USA families as it is cheap and convenient. Parents of some families may have to work or too busy to make meal foe their children(Sahoo al.,2015). In that situation fast food such as pizza and hamburger will be one of their choice. Fast food usually contain more fats which take a longer time to consume. Besides, children are more willing to eat snack foods such as potato chips, candy and chocolate. It is claimed high-fat and sweet foods are usually preferred by children of many countries, whereas vegetables are almost universally unwelcomed(Scaglioni& Arrizza& Vecchi& Tedeschi, 2011). However, these food has high calories and content of sugar. So children’s irregular eating habits may result in the rising rate of obesity.

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On the other hand, there are some diseases caused by childhood obesity which affect the children’s physical health. For example, Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome(OSAS) is one of the diseases caused by child obesity. In the past years, the prevalence of obesity in children in the USA is increasing rapidly while the prevalence of OSAS in obese children may be higher than that of the other clinical phenotypes. According to the research, 55% of morbidly obese children undergoing bariatric surgery had OSAS which shows the positive correlation between childhood obesity and OSAS. (Arens & Muzumdar,2009 ). Furthermore, an eating disorder is also one of the influences of childhood obesity in the United States. The eating disorder involves different types of diseases. For instance, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. It usually occurred at adolescence and obese adolescents may attempt to lose weight in the wrong way which causes them to have an eating disorder, such as over dieting. From 1999 to 2006, hospitalizations of an eating disorder increased 119% of the below 12 years old children in the United States (Golden, Schneider & Wood,2016 ).

What’s more, the other effect of childhood obesity is self-confidence decreased. On the one hand, the weight stigma would create many bad impacts on children, such as binge eating, social isolation, and decreased physical activity. As for children, these bad effects and the experience of weight stigma would lead their life quality decreased. For example, people often have the expression of weight stigmatization and discrimination about obese child, so that when these stereotypical expressions are shown by kinds of ways, the obese child would be treated by prejudice, social rejection, and overt unfair treatment and discrimination. ( Pont & Puhl & Cook & Slusser, 2017) On the other hand, some data suggested that obese children are 40 percent more likely to have autism than normal children. By the way, the autism children would affected by motor impairments, which will reduce their ability to take part in sports or physical activities. Therefore, the impaired motor skill and social skill would limit the obese child to get along with their peers. (Curtin & Anderson & Must & Bandini, 2010) Summing up the above causes of childhood obesity, the obese child are in the dilemma of self-confidence being reduced, which would be paid attention to by the society. 


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