The Atlanta Center for Medical Research is currently seeking volunteers to participate in a clinical research study on childhood obesity.
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, “a child is defined as ‘affected by obesity’ if their body mass index-for-age (or BMI-for-age) percentile is greater than 95 percent. A child is defined as ‘overweight’ if their BMI-for-age percentile is greater than 85 percent and less than 95 percent.” BMI-for-age is a calculation based on weight and height in comparison to age. Risks associated with childhood obesity include: heart disease, high cholesterol or blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer and more. Additionally, children affected by obesity can face social discrimination, low self-esteem and depression.
Childhood obesity can be caused by many factors:
- A child’s environment
- Lack of physical activity
- Family history
- Dietary patterns
- Socioeconomic status
The Center for Disease Control stresses that childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States. “For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years, the prevalence of obesity has remained fairly stable at about 17% and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents for the past decade.”
Further research is needed to understand and uncover possible preventive measures and treatments for childhood obesity.