Childhood Obesity: An Old Problem in a New Age

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Gao, Cynthia
Angelella, Ross
A comprehensive analysis of childhood obesity in the 21st century.
Obesity in America is not a new problem. However, the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity is. This review will examine the literature to explain what childhood obesity is, what causes it, why it is dangerous, and how this trend can be reversed. Childhood obesity has become one of the greatest health challenges of our time and in order to implement and execute real solutions, the causes and effects of this widespread health problem must be examined in detail. Although there are a myriad of actors that contribute to childhood obesity, the main ones that shall be focused on in this review are the quality and quantity of food intake, lack of physical activity, and the influencing effect of media. This paper will explore the effects of childhood obesity on the individual, in terms of physical and psychological health, and on society, in terms of the cost society pays for its obese population. If the goal is to decrease the amount of obese children in America, then the ultimate solution may lie in one of its contributors, the media. If media is truly an important actor in creating this pandemic, then turning it around and utilizing its power to educate the public may be the solution needed to stop this escalating trend.