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(4) Obesity in Children’s

Childhood Obesity in America - This is Injustice

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What is the difference between being “obese” and being “overweight?

 

In the past, there has been some confusion about terms such as obesity, risk of obesity, overweight, morbid obesity, and others. This subject has become much clearer because of a major review of the subject of childhood obesity done by an expert committee under the auspices of the American Medical Association and two parts of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department: the Health Resources Service Administration and the CDC. They reviewed the entire subject of childhood obesity and made recommendations in December 2007 in the journal Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The first objective of the committee was to standardize the definitions used. Being obese or overweight means having too much body fat compared with the normal or healthy weight. Because a healthy weight is also a function of height, the definitions used now are based on the BMI, which, as noted previously, is a number calculated from weight and height. The healthy range of BMI to be in the percentile range of 5% to 85%, corresponding to BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9. Overweight, using this definition, is a BMI of 25 to 29.9. By using the calculator or tables, you can then take your child’s height to see where the cutoff weight is for the healthy category.

You or your child’s doctor can use the CDC tables to calculate your child’s status. For example, if your son is 8 years old, 49 inches (4 feet 1 inch) tall and weighs 100 pounds, his BMI is 29.3. He is overweight. The 25th percentile for his age and height is 50 lbs. That is, 1/4 of all boys weigh less than 50 lbs. and 3/4 weigh more. Continuing: The 50th percentile is 55 lbs. The 75th percentile is 64 lbs. The 90th percentile is 72 lbs. The 95th percentile is 77 lbs.

So, at 100 lbs, he is heavier than 95% of all boys his age and height-this is too much. To get down to the area you want to realistically be at, between roughly 50% and 95%, he would need to drop his weight from 100 lbs. to below 77 lbs. and ideally to around 60 lbs.

Terms:

Metabolic  syndrome - A medical condition that is a collection of risk factors for serious disease (including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke). The risk factors include high blood (serum) fat/lipid levels, insulin resistance, high blood pressure (hypertension), and elevated markers of infection seen by doing certain blood tests.

Lipids - Fats found in the body and measured in the blood. They include HDL (“good”) and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol as well as triglycerides. Lipids are one of the three main sources of energy for the body and a building block for many cells. The chemical definition is a solid, greasy carbon based material.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – cholesterol “Good cholesterol.” The lipoproteins help carry the cholesterol to the liver for excretion from the body.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – cholesterol “Bad cholesterol.” Lipoproteins help to carry the cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body.

Insulin - A hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar by lowering it. Insufficient insulin or lack of sensitivity to insulin can produce the disease diabetes.

Obesity - The condition of being heavier (or having a higher BMI) than overweight and significantly heavier than normal weight.  Obesity is defined as  a BMI of 30 or higher.

Glucose - A simple sugar (carbohydrate) found in the body and easily measured in the blood.

Trans fats - A specific type of fat-usually solid rather than a liquid or oil-that is made by adding hydrogen to liquid fat. Excess trans fats have been implicated in the development of heart disease and other health problems.

Overweight - A body mass index of 25 to 25.9, which is greater than the normal weight (or body mass index) but less than the obese weight range.

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