Childhood Obesity

The Increase of Childhood Obesity      
            All children gain weight as they grow older, but it is the extra pounds that kids are gaining which are leading to the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States.  Obesity, which is unhealthy excess body fat, is a serious problem that affects every one in three children.  People may overlook the extra pounds that kids are putting on but it is these “insignificant” pounds that are leading children on a downward spiral to significant problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol- all problems which were once confined to adults. In the past year, childhood obesity rates increased in twenty-three states and did not decrease in a single state. Though obesity is a growing epidemic that is affecting kids throughout the United States, it is the responsibility of the parents along with the U.S government and school systems to work conjointly in an effort to stop this unfortunate problem.
     Childhood obesity is a complex problem that is caused by an imbalance between calories consumed and calories used.  One may think that this problem seems simplistic- why not just consume less calories?  The answer is that although obesity is caused by the imbalance of calories, in turn, the imbalance of calories is affected by the influence and interaction of multiple factors including genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. 
          Genes play a major part in how your body balances calories and since obesity is caused by an imbalance of calories, genetic characteristics increase an individual’s susceptibility to excess body weight.  Obesity tends to run in families and a child with an obese parent or sibling is more likely to become obese.  There is an inherited component to childhood overweight that makes it easier for some children to become overweight than others and there are a number of single gene mutations that are capable of...