English Composition II
Instructor: Fatima Lim-Wilson
October 19, 2012
Childhood Obesity Prevention
What is Childhood Obesity? The American Academy of Pediatrics defines it as: “an excess percentage of body weight due to fat that puts people at risk for many health problems. In children older than two years of age, obesity is assessed by a measure called the Body Mass Index (BMI)” (American Academy of Pediatrics). Childhood obesity is such an important issue. There currently seems to be an epidemic on the rise and growing evidence to support this alarming rise in childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is a society issues as well as a personal issue. Childhood obesity is an issue that must be a priority for both society and parents. As we address Childhood obesity, we need to look at preventative measures and strategies to ensure that we control and recognize the symptoms and indicators associated with Childhood obesity. As we take a look at the various causes and symptoms associated with childhood obesity, I will consider the following question, “What strategies and approaches will help in the prevention and management of childhood obesity?” There has been an abundance of research conducted on this topic. Research studies show an alarming rise in the childhood obesity in children today as compared to a decade ago (American Academy of Pediatrics, 201 1). Research shows that obese children suffer both socially and academically. They often times have a poor self-image and are more prone to depression. Studies also show a higher risk of contracting other medical issues as a result of obesity. Some studies have linked obesity to such conditions as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
A targeted search was performed beginning with such search terms as “obesity”, “childhood obesity”, “obesity prevention” and “obesity strategies.” Data was collected from various sources provided through the ProQuest database as well as on the internet. Data will be presented that supports current research in the field of Childhood Obesity. The recent articles published in the Childhood Obesity Journal specifically, volume 8, were extremely useful in helping to understand the various causes, strategies, techniques and ongoing research around childhood obesity.
A lot of research on obesity has been mostly focused on youth and young adults. As we begin to focus more of our efforts at childhood obesity we will gain a better understanding and begin to develop longer lasting strategies for prevention. This shift in focus can have a positive impact on reducing the childhood obesity epidemic and raising healthy and happy children.
Parents are the first contributing factor to weight problems in their children. If both parents have not been adopting healthy eating habits and regular exercise routines it is hard to instill those characteristics in their child or children. Research has shown that, “maternal obesity before and during pregnancy disrupts glucose homoeostasis, insulin sensitivity, amino acid synthesis and fat metabolism, increasing the risk for subsequent obesity and disease in the offspring.” (Philip R., et al. 2012). In other words, if the mother is obese and does not get it under control and managed prior to pregnancy it could affect her unborn child.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) the obesity rate has more than tripled since 1981. There seems to be a connection between obesity and minorities. Obesity causes more than physical health issues. Childhood obesity can cause mental health issues as well. Some suffer from depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues. These can all be a symptom of childhood obesity. In addition, incurred medical expenses acquired to help manage and cure childhood obesity are another issue that arises as a result of childhood obesity.
As a society we need to change how we think about...