Background and aim of the research
Increase in weight among children can have an impact on one’s health. The situation can be made worse by having excess fats in the body because it can lead to obesity. By using a standard index that determines the height and weight of a person, one can easily tell whether he or she is obese. If a person is obese, chances of contracting other ailments are very high. Some of those diseases include breathing problems when sleeping, diseases of the heart, and specific kinds of cancer and diabetes of type 2 (Ling, 2005, p. 143). Increase in weight among children in United States has sparked debate for quite some time now. Obesity among children has escalated overtime in America.
Statistics, which were revealed in 2009, indicate that, 33% of children and teenagers suffer from increased weight. It is deduced that weight gain is easy to notice but very hard to treat. Fig 1.0 shows increase in weight among girls in the United States.
Mean- this is a statistical tool, which simply means the average of the data in question. It is often obtained by summing all the elements given, then dividing by the number of the elements. It is given by
Median – this is defined as the element, which often appears at the middle of the others. In statistics, this is the numerical value, which often falls at the middle of the data given. Median is often found by arranging all the values given in an ascending manner and identifying the middle one.
Mode – this is a tool used in statistics and it describes the element, which appears most in a given data. Mode can be one element or it can be two i.e. bimodal and many more.
In the United States, increase in weight because of feeding on poor foods and lacking exercises is to blame for thousands of children deaths in the United States every year. The cost of treating obesity is estimated to be over $100 billion. In 2003, studies confirmed that increased weight among children is on the rise in America. Over 40% of the children feed on junk food. Unless measures are taken in advance, children who are overweight are likely to enter their adult life with the same problem. Some of the recommended measures include establishing healthier eating habits and getting enough exercises (Gumbiner, 2001, p. 83).
According to researches that have been carried out in America in the recent past, a drug known as antipsychotic has widely been identified as the cause for increase in weight among children and adolescents. This is according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. It has been revealed that doctors are recommending this type of drug on children at a very high rate. An estimated 15% of the children suffering from increased weight are associated with this drug. This type of drug is meant for adults. Studies show that one of its side effects is increase in weight, and at a time when doctors have decided to use the same drug on children, increase in weight among them cannot be avoided. It has been revealed that antipsychotic recorded sales of over $15 billion, the highest for any type of drug in the United States (Gumbiner, 2001, p. 83).
Another reason why children are increasing weight in the United States is spending low energy. Children in America spend at least a good part of their day watching television. In America, 60 % of children spend at least two hours of their time watching television. This trend continues and by the time they reach 18 years of age, they spend four hours on the same. They do that at the expense of exercise time. According to studies, children who spend most of their time watching television are prone to obesity (Gumbiner, 2001, p. 83). This is not caused by use of little energy but high consumption of junk foods. It is estimated that it is only a small fraction of children in elementary schools that have physical exercises every day. Fig 1.1 shows increase in weight among boys in the United States.
For the simple fact that not all children in America who eat foods without nutrients; heredity has equally been identified as a cause of weight increase. Children who are born by mothers with increased weight have shown signs of being inactive and they continue to add weight when they are only three months old compared to infants born by mothers who have average weight. Families in America where couples are obese have been known for giving birth to a kid who is overweight. Studies show that the condition is mainly caused by genes, which are very powerful and are normally passed to the kid. In some cases, the born child takes after the parents eating habits and absconding exercises. Fig 1.2 shows a graph of increase in weight among children and adolescents in the United States.
The sedentary type of life in the United States is equally to blame for increase of weight among children. Most children do not walk even to a place where the distance is relatively short. Most homes in America are equipped with technology that minimizes labor, thus most children do not even help in family chores, which would help them in reducing weight. 60% of children do not help even in simple work in the house and a lot of time is instead spent watching television.
Presence of calories is estimated to be highest in the United States. The same has been increasing every day, with the highest percentage recorded in 2003 (Ling, 2005, p. 231). Although there has been provision of guidelines on the nutrients that one should take, the problem of increasing weight has not been addressed. Records in the United States show that the rate at which children have increased weight has been rising from 2000 onwards.
The number of children in the United States who are suffering from increased weight has continued to rise despite the provision of guidelines on how to eat balanced foods. As people continue getting interested in junk foods, more children continue increasing weight. In order to reduce the cases of obesity, experts advise that children should be exposed to physical exercises and balanced diets (Burniat, 2002, p. 45).
Burniat, W. 2002. Child and adolescent obesity: causes and consequences, prevention and
management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P. 23-78
Gumbiner, B. 2001. Obesity. New York: ACP Press. P. 74-125
Ling, P. R. 2005. Trends in obesity research. Texas: Nova Publishers, p. 128-276
‘Graphs on children's obesity’ Retrieved on 22th March, 2011 from