Child Obesity Research
The much noted nutrition related health condition is obesity. Obesity is steadily rising across the globe. It has become a serious public health epidemic. The condition has been observed to develop in young children in recent years. The prevalence of childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in developed countries. Childhood obesity hurts the emotional, social and physical health of children (Cornet, 2008 pp 36). It also affects the self-esteem and confidence of children resulting in poor academic performances by these children. However, this problem is solved by both the parents and the government playing their role in its prevention and avoidance. Introduction According to American Academy of Pediatrics (2014), there is an enormous change in nutritional intake. The drop in intake of essential nutrition has been witnessed by the increased nutritional disorders such as anemia, deficiencies in zinc and iron among others.
Majority of these children are from the developing countries. This paper expounds on childhood obesity bring an understanding on what childhood obesity is, how it is measured, some of the causes of childhood obesity, consequences of obesity and finally the solution to this modern world health epidemic. It will also review some of the critical issues that relate to the control of obesity and other chronic diseases by laying focus on nutrition and the growth of a child. Defining Childhood Obesity Obesity can be defined as having excess body fat. However, there is no clear cutoff point on excess body fat in adults and children who are overweight. This dietary preference can be described as an imbalance in the intake of energy and the expenditure of the energy leading to obesity.
Research done has provided a better understanding of the factors related to obesity. Davison’s et al (qtd) ecological model suggests that the risk factors of obesity in a child are the type of diet intake, sedentary behavior, and physical activity. The impact that these factors have depends on the gender, age, and other things. Other factors such as family, socio-cultural and psychological factors play a role too. However, this difference in basal metabolic rate does not explain the rising obesity rate (Budd & Hayman, 2008 pp. Dietary Factors and Physical Activity Diet is the type, amount, and composition of food a person consumes. The prevalence of the child obesity epidemic is directly related to the dietary preferences of the individuals. The consumption of foods and beverages with high levels of energy than the body’s requirement and lack of any physical activities leads to weight gain.
Some risky dietary preferences include the consumption of high sugar beverages, consumption of fast foods and snacks. According to Kapil & Bhadoria (2014), spending an hour watching TV increases the occurrence of obesity by 2%. This habit has grown over the years. Sedentary behaviors reduce the time for physical exercises. Research shows that children end up consuming most of the food advertised on these televisions (Kapil & Bhadoria, 2014 pp. It is also clear that the media has a significant effect on some of the habits of adolescents such as smoking. Family habits like physical activity and sedentary behaviors combined with the other factors can increase the rate of obesity in the society. According to Goldfield et al. (2010), body satisfaction in females is lower compared to males.
Westernization reflects thinness as beauty for women and it encourages men on the other side to masculinity. Therefore, there is existence of a direct relation between increase in BMI and body dissatisfaction in females (Austin, Haines & Veugelers, 2009 pp. Also, a study shows that children suffering from obesity have lower self-esteem compared to those who are not overweight. Effects of Childhood Obesity Obesity in children has immediate and long term effects on the emotional, physical and social health of a child. The effects of obesity can show on the child’s health, self-esteem, social behaviors, and academic performance Effect on Child Health Children with obesity are at risk of having other chronic health conditions and diseases. These health conditions have a great influence in the physical health of the child.
Health conditions related with children include: high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, impaired imbalance, orthopedic problem, and asthma among others. These problems result in low esteem and confidence of the children, and this affects their performances academically in the long run. Research indicates that children who are obese have problems than normal-weight students (Rawana et al. 2010 pp. Being overweight, these children are prone to chronic diseases, and thus they spend most days out of school seeking medical assistance. This will gradually affect the performance of these students. The accessibility and availability of healthy foods influence the diets of children (Budd & Hayman, 2008 pp. 114) should be set as priorities. Research shows that snack choices by adolescents depend on the hunger, taste, and price (Niehoff, 2009 pp.
Also, junk food consumption by adolescents associates with convenience, pleasure and independence and they consider healthy food as odd (Budd & Hayman, 2008 pp. This calls for change in the society’s perception of eating habits and investing in a shift in diet meaning. Parents are monitoring what their children consume help in the increase in intake of healthy foods (Budd & Hayman, 2008 pp. Schools should engage children in physical education that is fun and challenging (Moens et al. 2009 pp. The move will help turn around the childhood obesity epidemic. Physical education will help eradicate stigma on obese children and children will embrace the need to keep healthy, and this will boost their self-esteem (Moens et al. This can be monitored through organizations like the U.
S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Two factors need close monitoring: less sugar in children’s food and consumption of more fruits and vegetables by children and adolescents. The other key indicator is the growth in some children engaging in physical activities. In so doing, parents will help avoid obese problems. Children learn mostly through observation and mimicking. a parents who promotes healthier eating habits will help the children to learn the importance of eating healthy. The choice of what to consume will be based on the guidance of the parents. There is need to lay a focus on these causes of obesity and addressing these causes will help mitigate obesity among children and adolescents. org/obesity/about.
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