Factors Contributing to Childhood Obesity and Its Preventions

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In this assignment, I will review a sample of literature which focuses on the factors contributing to childhood obesity and its preventions. This topic was chosen because as the prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing all over the world (Farpour-Lambert et. al., 2008), childhood obesity has put children at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, depression and low self-esteem (Gualdi-Russoet et al., 2007). Therefore, family, school and media have been regarded as the major factors which have main responsibilities not only to childhood obesity but also to its preventions. The government recognizes that childhood obesity is a complex issue requiring preventive strategies to be implemented with the collaborative working of a number of factors including the family, school and media. (Greenway, 2008).

Numerous databases explored for relevant literature articles about this topic are EBSCO health databases, Ovid, ProQuest 5000 International and CINAHL. Key words used to search relevant journal articles are: childhood obesity, factors of childhood obesity, family, school, media, government strategies and preventions. From the explored articles, diet and physical activity are mentioned frequently as the major targets on which family, school, media and government can keep working to decrease childhood obesity.

From my understanding of the literature review, the following discussion can be divided into four main themes which are covered in the explored articles. They are family factor, school factor, media factor, and preventions linked with one primary health care concept, collaboration. Moreover, several sub theme including diet, physical activity and stigma will covered and clustered together to support and deeply identify how family, school, media and government contributing to childhood obesity, and how they can do to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. Family

The family as one important factor contributing to childhood obesity is primarily related to parental responsibilities on children’s diet, physical activity (Vikki, 2008). The behavior and patterns displayed within their homes are often the behaviors and patterns the children will themselves display later in life.

Parents can be dieticians to prevent children from childhood obesity (Dwyer, et. al., 2008). Paul (2007) states parents can serves as role models to shape children’s eating habits and food preferences. That means parent’s eating habits and food preference can influence how their children eat and what they like to eat. According to the perspective of Dwyer et. al. (2008), when children are young, they learn by examples. If parents present poor eating habits, children might start to think this kind of eating is appropriate, and then children might follow. In contrast, if some parents display balanced healthy diet, their children will learn the healthy way to display balanced eating habits. The behavior and patterns displayed within their homes are often the behaviors and patterns the children will themselves display later in life. To prevent or decrease childhood obesity, Dwyer et. al. (2007) suggests parents to prepare well balanced food, decrease the amount of snack foods available for children, set ground rules for eating, not allow children to simply say that they do not like a certain food, make children try different foods, and keep food in the house that is healthy. In addition, there are free education classes or public services such as ‘Well Child/ Tamariki Ora National Schedule’ for parents to equip themselves with knowledge on healthy diet which is useful to provide healthy diet and educate children how to eat well (McKey & Huntington, 2004).

Parents also can be personal trainers and coordinators to regulate their children’s physical activities (Lisette, 2005). Some researchers have suggested that childhood obesity is largely the result of a decline in regular physical activity. Nowadays, children spend much...
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