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Childhood obesity once not a topic of discussion now a global epidemic Childhood obesity has become a global epidemic as increased trends obese and overweight children are apparent in developed and developing countries Global data from 2005 estimated that over 20 million children under the age of five were found to be overweight Koulouglioti et al It is defined by the World Health Organization as having a BMI of 30 or greater Wellesley institute Causes of childhood obesity may be due to genetics environmental factors dietary habits behavioral factors sleep deprivation etc koulouglioti From the 1970s rising trends have been noticed and available estimates for the period of 1980s and 1990s show a two to five times greater rise in overweight and obese children Flynn et al This trend was up to four times higher in developing countries Obesity in general leads to decreased overall health and wellbeing Obese and overweight children are more likely to be affected by high blood pressure and cholesterol type 2 diabetes stress and asthma which are associated with cardiovascular diseases Koulouglioti These health outcomes follow the individual into adulthood and many are more likely to be obese adults which causes further complications It is estimate that life expectancy of obese children will be decreased by three to four years compared to healthy children Wellesley Additionally it not only affects individuals but communities as well and as a result increases demand on the health care system Not all children are equally affected by obesity and poor health It is a serious problem for low income families ethnic minorities and children living in single parent homes In the US children living in low income families are 17 times higher at risk of being obese Children who live in families that do not have adequate resources are more likely to be overweight than families that are better off Koulouglioti Contributors to poor health includes not only poverty but unsafe housing
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