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Eating disorders make the news. An Olympic gymnast dies from complications related to anorexia nervosa. A princess reveals her struggles with bulimia. There was a period in the early 1990ís when it seemed that everywhere you looked in the media were dramatic stories of eating disorders deaths from them, celebrities, or even ordinary people, who had over come them. The most common eating disorder in America, though, is obesity. Obesity is defined as being at least 30 percent over normal weight. At least ten percent of American children are obese, meaning they are not just a little, but significantly overweight. Obesity causes many serious problems for children, both physical and psychological. Obese children have more cardiovascular problems, are more likely to become obese adults, have more orthopedic and respiratory problems and are more often social rejected and have low self-esteem. Even if your adorable child has loads of friends and high self-esteem, obesity is still bad for her health. (Are you getting the idea that I am concerned about obesity and think that people don't take it seriously enough?)

Obesity is a serious problem on the reservation. There is a much higher incidence of obesity here than in the population as a whole. In part, this may be due to poverty, although it is true that the upper midwest region as a whole has a higher incidence of obesity than the west coast, for example.

What causes obesity? While obese children may be taunted by being called "Piggy", they often, in actual fact, do not eat much more than other children. However, by eating a few more calories every day than they expend, the cumulative effect is a very overweight child.

blue and orange NEXT arrow Causes of Obesity

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