Incidence of Childhood Obesity in the United States


  • Intended Audience: Healthcare practitioners, researchers, academics, and government officials.
  • Writer Background: All three authors of this article are accredited, healthcare professionals.
  • Writer’s Angle: The authors analyze obesity in the USA by studying correlations and incidence of obesity at different age intervals – at birth, at years 5-6, and 8-14.

The One-Sentence Summary

This article is dedicated to studying obesity in children at various ages and states that in many cases, children with significant birth weight (over 4 kilograms) and Afro-American heritage have a predisposition towards developing the disease (Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan, 2014).

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The One-Paragraph Summary

This article is a longitudinal study that evaluates data of 7738 children at their birth, in kindergarten, and up until 8th grade. According to the researchers’ findings, obesity is prevalent in children that had a large weight at birth (36%) (Cunningham et al., 2014). Other factors include race, gender, and socio-economic position. The researchers speculate that predisposition is determined at early ages (0-6 years) and is carried on into adolescence.

The Multiple-Paragraph Summary

This article is a quantitative longitudinal study that analyses the data received from birthing centers, kindergartens, and medical facilities, in order to perceive the development of obesity in children. The researchers have evaluated data of 7738 children, with the dependent variable being weight. Independent variables included the children’s age, gender, race, socioeconomic standing, and weight (Cunningham et al., 2014).

The researchers found that at the kindergarten entry-level, the prevalence of obesity among children was at 14.9% (Cunningham et al., 2014). It increased to over 20% upon children reaching 8th grade. Studies also indicate that the prevalence of obesity between ages 8-14 in Afro-American children increases by 120%, which is a lot more when compared to Hispanic (50%) and non-Hispanic white children (65%) (Cunningham et al., 2014). Children from the wealthiest families are stated to have a lower prevalence of obesity.

The authors state that their findings are consistent with similar researches conducted in other states. They conclude that half of the cases of obesity happen during the first 5-6 years of life and carried on to adolescence.

Your Reaction

In this article, the authors offer a persuasive argument about the causes and development of obesity in young children. Their credentials, the methodology of the research, and large sample base vouch for the accuracy of the results. The document is separated by headings and. Graphs and tables are present.

I agree with the researchers’ assessment of the situation in regards to obesity. The conclusion seems logical to me both from the evidence-based and from a logical standpoint – genetics play a big role in determining a person’s predispositions towards certain diseases, and obesity is no exception.

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Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. V. (2014). Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411. Web.

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