Obesity is greater among children and adolescents who frequently watch television (Dietz & Gortmaker, 1985), not only because little energy is expended while viewing but also because of concurrent consumption of high-calorie snacks. Only about one-third of elementary children have daily physical education, and fewer than one-fifth have extracurricular physical activity programs at their school
s (Ross & Pate, 1987). Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories from food than he or she burns. Our bodies need calories to sustain life and be physically active, but to maintain weight we need to balance the energy we eat with the energy we use. Obesity during childhood and adolescence is associated with numerous cardiovascular risk factors, including hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, reduced levels of HDL, and hypertension. A hallmark of insulin resistance is acanthosis nigricans, the presence of which indicates an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Obesity, in simple terms, is having a high proportion of body fat. Obesity is defined as a BMI 30 kg/m2, but can be further sub-divided on the bases of the severity of the obesity. Obesity is not a simple condition of eating too much. It is now recognized that obesity is a serious, chronic disease. Obesity in children is on the rise. Almost 9 million children and adolescents in the United States age 6 to 19 are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Obesity is present when total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls (Lohman, 1987). Although childhood obesity is often defined as a weight-for-height in excess of 120 percent of the ideal, skinfold measures are more accurate determinants of fatness (Dietz, 1983; Lohman, 1987). Obesity has been consistently associated with uterine (endometrial) cancer. Obese women have two to four times greater risk of developing the disease than do women of a healthy weight, regardless of menopausal status (4, 27, 28, 29, 30). Obesity is bad news for both body and mind. Not only can it make a person feel tired and uncomfortable, carrying extra weight puts added stress on the body, especially the bones and joints of the legs. Obesity can be prevented, therefore, by having a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration; it is a dire health dilemma directly harmful to one's health. In the United States, roughly 300,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and more than 80% of these deaths are in patients with a BMI (body mass index, which will be discussed later in this article) over 30. Obesity in cats is very common and can predispose the cat to diabetes , Hepatic Lipidosis and arthritis. Overweight and actually obese cats outnumber cats of normal weigh and are being seen more and more commonly by veterinarians for various disorders. Obesity prevention involves a focus on energy balance-- calories consumed versus calories expended--so taking action against childhood obesity must address the factors that influence both eating and physical activity. Although it appears straightforward, these factors result from complex interactions across a number of social, environmental, and policy contexts. Obesity and over weight have plagued me and regular dieting and many diet plans have failed to provide effective long term weight loss. Have you ever wondered whether dieting to lose weight is the best way to approach an obesity problem? Obesity prevalence in youths aged 12-17 has increased dramatically from 5% to 13% in boys and from 5% to 9% in girls between 1966-70 and 1988-91 in the USA. The problem is global and increasingly extends into the developing world; for example, in Thailand the prevalence of obesity in 5-to-12 year olds children rose from12.2% to 15-6% in just two years. Obesity increases the child's risk of numerous health problems, and it also can create emotional and social problems. Obese children are also more likely to be obese as adults , increasing their risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke . Obesity (and thinness) tends to run in families. The environment provided by the adoptive family apparently had less influence on the development of obesity than the person's genetic makeup. Obesity can happen when you eat more calories than you burn off over a period of time. Obesity also leads to greater risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. And it leads to a shortened life expectancy on average, six to seven years less. Obesity and family exposure to these behaviors places women at increased risk of unhealthy behaviors. Obesity in kids has reached epidemic levels. Experts estimate that 15% of kids are overweight and another 15% are at risk of becoming overweight. Obesity is but one of the symptoms of the impoverishment that plagues their lives.