Obesity affects nearly 5-25 percent of children and teenagers in the U.S. As with adults, the widespread issues of obesity in children vary among ethnic groups. Caucasian and African-American children are estimated between 5-7 percent obese. 12 percent of Hispanic males are obese, while 19 percent of Hispanic girls are obese.
Studies have shown that the issues of obesity are on the rise. In the 1960’s, The National Children and Youth Fitness Study found 6-9 year olds to have thicker folds in certain areas of their skin. Around the same time frame, others studies showed a 54 percent increase in the widespread of obesity among 6-11 year olds.
Obesity is defined as a condition where there is excessive weight due to a large amount of body fat. Boys that have a weight containing more than 25 percent fat are considered to be obese. As for girls, they are considered obese when more than 32 percent fat is present. Obesity in children is often measured as a weight-for-height in excess of 120 percent. However, skin fold measures are more accurate when determining the amount of excess fat.
A trained medical assistant can obtain skin fold measures with an instrument called skin fold calipers. When measuring children, the assistant will measure the triceps by themselves, the calf by itself, triceps and sub scapular, or the triceps and calf. 10-25mm is optimal for boys when measuring triceps and the calf, while 16-30mm is optimal for girls.
When an infant is obese it does not mean the infant will become obese as a child. The same applies for obese children; this does not mean they will become obese adults. However, the widespread issue of obesity does increase as one ages; this is among both male and female, and the likelihood of obesity starting in early childhood and continuing through their life span is increased.
Numerous problems are a concern in obese children. Not only is there an increasing risk in adulthood obesity, there is also a risk of pediatric...