After reading the material for this week, the student began to research obesity in middle childhood. The student discovered the causes of middle childhood obesity, the effect of obesity on a child’s health, psychosocial, and cognitive development, and ways to counteract obesity in middle childhood. The student has provided information on obesity solutions in her area, a national program to help stop childhood obesity, and has suggested other ways to help stop childhood obesity. The Causes of Childhood Obesity
Genetic factors contribute to childhood obesity (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Obese children often remain obese throughout his or her lives. Children suffering from obesity often have obese biological parents. Children adopted by normal-weight adoptive parents may become obese if the child’s biological parents are obese. According to Parke and Gauvain (2009), studies have shown that infants who have overweight parents are more responsive to the difference between sweet-tasting solutions and water. The preference for sweets at a young age increases the risk of childhood obesity. Middle childhood obesity also derives from the child’s role-model’s eating pattern and behavior (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). If the parent or role-model is eating junk food, lives a sedentary life, and watches too much television, the child is likely to do the same. Parents encouraging and prompting children to eat more because of his or her size contributes to child obesity. Parents rewarding children for eating everything on their plates teaches the child to rely on external instead of internal cues. As a result, children grow to eat when food is in sight instead of when he or she is hungry (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Effect of Obesity on Children’s Health, Psychosocial, and Cognitive Development
According to "Overweight And Obesity" (2012), one in three children in the United States is overweight. Obese children may suffer from health issues such as diabetes, asthma, sleep issues, and hypertension (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Obesity can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lead to cardiovascular problems. Obese children may also suffer from joint problems, liver disease, and gall bladder disease ("Overweight And Obesity", 2012).
Overweight children suffer psychologically from criticism from thinner peers and body-image disturbances (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Obese children are often ridiculed and teased because they are overweight and are excluded from groups. Overweight children often avoid gym class to avoid ridicule for weight issues. Obese children have been known to have damaging psychological effects such as stigmatization, depression, and emotional trauma (Shoblom, 2012). Obese children are more likely to develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and to develop a substance abuse problem ("Overweight And Obesity", 2012). Obese children are more likely to withdrawal from social interactions with peers and at home contributing to delayed cognitive development.
According to Shoblom (2012), obese children are more likely to have slower cognitive development. Leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone, is secreted by fat cells. Leptin is a common link between obese individuals and cognitive development. Leptin plays a role in both the metabolism and cognitive development, and obese individuals are often Leptin resistant. Obese children will grow into cognitively impaired adults and if America does not work hard to solve this problem than America is likely to be filled with cognitively impaired, unhealthy adults (Shoblom, 2012). Ways to Counteract Obesity in Middle Childhood
Teaching children how to manage their food intake and physical activity will help counteract obesity. Teaching children how to recognize when he or she is no longer hungry and stop eating when he or she feels full will help children keep from overeating (Parke & Gauvain, 2009)....