What is Obesity?
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents is defined according to the WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents (overweight = one standard deviation above the normal body mass index for age and sex, and obese = two standard deviations above the normal body mass index for age and sex). (WHO)
According to a 2010 UCLA Center for Health Policy:
- Average rate of overweight/obese students in CA is 38%
- Average in Stanton is 51.8% (the highest percentage in Orange County)
- Average in Santa Ana is 46.5%
- Average in Anaheim is 43.5%
An Ounce of Prevention and Early Intervention
Taveras et al. (2009) found that more-rapid increased in weight for length in the first 6 months of the life were associated with sharply increased risk of obesity of 3 years of age. Changes in weight status in infancy may influence the risk of later obesity more than weight status at birth.
More than 2 dozen studies have addressed the association between birth weight and later obesity, and almost all found that higher birth weight was associated with higher attained BMI in childhood and adulthood.
“Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.”
Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority.” According to the World Health Organization.(WHO)
Childhood obesity in now the NUMBER 1 health concern among parents in the US, topping drug abuse and smoking.
An obese child’s future is grim
Obese youth are more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obese children are 4 times more likely to have impaired school function, be depressed and have anxiety issues. These complications likely contribute to the self reported quality of life that is comparable to children in chemotherapy or diagnosed with cancer.
Almost 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart). (1)
61% of obese children aged 5–10 years have one or more risk factors for heart disease, and 27% have two or more. (2)
(1)Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Flegal KM. High body mass index for age among US children and adolescents, 2003–2006. JAMA 2008;299:2401–2405.
(2)Freedman DS, Dietz, WH, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS. The relation of overweight to cardiovascular risk factors among children and adolescents: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics 1999;103:1175–1182.