Childhood Obesity in School

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Childhood Obesity in School
Bethany Self
ENG 122
Professor: Natalie Dougall, MFA
December 10, 2012

Childhood obesity is a problem in the United States. It affects a child’s life tremendously. Childhood obesity in school is an important subject for one to learn about. People who have children or plan on having children need to know the risks that are involved in this disorder. Childhood obesity is a serious problem for children but it can be worse in schools. School life is hard enough for a child to adjust; it is even harder for a child to deal with school and obesity at the same time. There are many aspects to how childhood obesity affects children in schools: it affects their learning abilities, it affects their social skills and their psychological well-being, and it also affects their health.

Childhood obesity is when a child has an excessive amount of body fat in relationship to lean body mass. Childhood obesity is sometimes a genetic disorder and sometimes an environmental situation issue. By genetics it means it can be given to the child by anyone in their family lineage. By environmental situation issues it means it is based on the foods a child eats, whether they exercise regularly, or by the habits they learn. Mass media also is a consideration in child obesity as advertisements can affect how a child wants to eat. Fast food companies attract many children just in their advertisements alone. The internet also affects children and they get to use the internet at school. They see advertisements online or play games online that make them not want to be active in everyday life. There are so many aspects to a child’s life that can lead to obesity and most of it starts at home but then overflows into the academic life of a child.

Children who are obese tend to have more health issues and the health concerns can affect their everyday school life. The regularity of childhood obesity is a public health concern. Childhood obesity is connected to a variety of detrimental health conditions including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease (Freedman, Diets, Srinivasan, and Berenson, 1999). The more health issues a child has the more it affects school life. Children with health concerns from obesity end up missing a number of days for being sick and that puts them behind in their school work. The time away from school leads to missed assignments and also less socialization time with peers. Children who are obese tend to be sleepy and not be able to pay attention during classroom lectures. Overweight children also can have serious health issues now and as well in adult years; such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, bone and joint issues, and even sleep disorders which can affect every day routine (John, H., 2011). The problem of obesity is not contained than it will “surpass tobacco as the leading cause of death” (Bhattacharya 2004, p.1).

Childhood obesity affects children with their learning abilities in the classroom. Occasionally how a child is affected educationally by childhood obesity is not as obvious as the health concerns that arise from the obesity. Children who are obese tend to have low self-esteem and do not participate as well in class discussions. As new clinical practice guidelines are being developed to address childhood obesity, the reduction of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem associated with being overweight should also be considered in developing the guidelines (Cornette, 2008). It has not really been studied accurately or in excess but one would wonder if obesity would affect the brain because of lack of blood flow or just lack of healthiness. If the brain is hindered in any way then learning is definitely impacted.

Obese children have a hard time with the affects obesity has on their social skills and their psychological well-being. Being bullied is something that is a common occurrence with obese children. Obese children have a hard time...
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