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Article Title:
The Chubby American Child --  a Growing Problem

Article Description:
Between 5-25% of children and teenagers in the United States are 
obese (Dietz, 1983). As with adults, the prevalence of obesity in 
the young varies by ethnic group.

Additional Article Information:
676 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Apr 11 07:48:49 EDT 2006

Written By:     Kathy Castillo
Copyright:      2006, All Rights Reserved
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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The Chubby American Child --  a Growing Problem
Copyright © 2006 Kathy Castillo, All Rights Reserved
DBA AdPro Media Sales

Between 5-25% of children and teenagers in the United States are 
obese (Dietz, 1983). As with adults, the prevalence of obesity in 
the young varies by ethnic group. It is estimated that 5-7% of 
White and Black children are obese, while 12% of Hispanic boys 
and 19% of Hispanic girls are obese (Office of Maternal and Child 
Health, 1989).

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States and most of the 
time it begins in childhood. The way a child is taught to eat at 
an early age will effect how he/she eats as an adult. Children 
who eat a lot of junk food such as soda pop, candies, potato 
chips, and pastries will grow up with the craving to continue 
eating these foods. Junk food is high in fats, oils, and calories 
which, over time, will lead to obesity.

Children usually do not gain weight as rapidly as adults. This is 
because they tend to be more active. However, when children get 
older, their active lifestyles decrease. Sometimes, a child who 
was skinny as a child will become obese as an adult. This is 
mainly because the child ate a lot of junk food but was very 
active. Then when adulthood started, the active lifestyle ceased 
and the weight gain began.

Obesity treatment programs for children and adolescents rarely 
have weight loss as a goal. Rather, their aim is to slow or halt 
weight gain so the child will grow into his or her body weight 
over a period of months to years. Dietz (1983) estimates that for 
every 20% excess of ideal body weight, the child will need one 
and one-half years of weight maintenance to attain his or her 
ideal body weight.

Early and appropriate intervention is particularly valuable. 
Childhood eating and exercise habits are more easily modified 
than adult habits (Wolf, Cohen, & Rosenfeld, 1985). Three forms 
of intervention include:

1. Physical Activity

Adopting a formal exercise program or simply becoming more active 
is a valuable way to burn fat, increase energy expenditure, and 
maintain lost weight. Most studies of children have not shown 
exercise to be a successful strategy for weight loss unless it is 
coupled with another intervention such as nutrition education or 
behavior modification (Wolf et al., 1985).

However, exercise has additional health benefits. Even when 
children's body weights and fat percentages did not change 
following 50 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week, 
their blood lipid profiles and blood pressure did improve 
(Becque, Katch, Rocchini, Marks, & Moorehead, 1988).

2. Diet Management

Fasting or extreme caloric restriction is not advisable for 
children. Not only is this approach psychologically stressful, 
but it may adversely affect growth and the child's perception of 
"normal" eating. Balanced diets with moderate caloric 
restriction, especially those diets with reduced fat, have been 
used successfully in treating obesity (Dietz, 1983). Nutrition 
education may be necessary. Diet management coupled with exercise 
is an effective treatment for childhood obesity (Wolf et al., 

3. Behavior Modification

Many behavioral strategies used with adults have been 
successfully applied to children and adolescents: self-monitoring 
and recording food intake and physical activity, slowing the rate 
of eating, limiting the time and place of eating, and using 
rewards and incentives for desirable behaviors. Particularly 
effective are behaviorally based treatments that include parents 
(Epstein et al., 1987).

Graves, Meyers, and Clark (1988) used problem-solving exercises 
in a parent-child behavioral program and found children in the 
problem-solving group, but not those in the behavioral treatment-
only group, significantly reduced their percent overweight and 
maintained their reduced weight for six months. Problem-solving 
training involved identifying possible weight-control problems, 
and as a group, discussing solutions.

If your child is obese, you may want to consider a new powerful 
vitamin that helps to alleviate childhood obesity. It is 
called Essentialean(tm). Essentialean(tm) is available on and at Now is the 
time to start doing something to help your child overcome 
obesity. Proper nutrition and exercise are the keys to avoiding 
obesity. However, if obesity is already a problem, then 
Essentialean(tm) may be your solution. 

Kathy Castillo is a health and fitness enthusiast and 
advocate. She writes on a regular basis on timeless 
health and fitness tips at the Fit After Forty Blog. 
See more useful health and fitness news and tips at: 
Copyright 2006 AdPro Media Sales, All Rights Reserved 
courtesy Kamau Austin.   

This Article must be published with a disclaimer as such...
This article is for general information purposes only. Before 
under taking any exercise or treatment program always first 
check first with your doctor and health professionals.



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