Childhood Obesity: A Preventable Disease
Childhood obesity is at an all time high today. Children who have a body weight ten percent higher than what is recommended or have a BMI in the 95th percentile or above are considered to be obese. One out of three children in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Eighty percent of these obese children remain obese adults, leading to severe health problems and possibly an early death (Schifferdecker, 2008). The current obesity epidemic has produced a generation of children that may be the first to have a life expectancy shorter than their parents (Gance-Cleveland, Gilbert, & Kopanos, 2010). This disease not only effects a child’s psychological well being, but also leads to many serious health issues within the body’s systems. The cardiovascular system, endocrine system and respiratory system are the most effected systems in a child with obesity (Statters, 1996). Children with obesity are at risk for lifelong health complications. Nurses have a responsibly to educate children and their parents on the dangers of this disease and the steps which can be taken to prevent it.
The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart, arteries and veins; it is responsible for the circulation of blood, throughout the entire body. The arteries carry blood away from the heart and the veins carry blood back to the heart. This system plays a vital role in the delivery of nutrients and the removal of waste in the body. The heart is the most important muscle in our body; without it we could not survive.
Until recently, most medical concerns about children's hearts involved birth defects. Now, due to the growing number of children with obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are becoming common cardiovascular problems in children. Cholesterol in blood comes from food that a child eats and from their liver. A...