Why Is Child Obesity an Important Health Problem in America? Webster University
Techniques of substance Abuse Counseling
Dr. Barbara Omer
July 28, 2002
Obesity is a chronic state of being overweight. It's a life threatening condition and current research has shown that obesity is the leading cause for the increased health threats that persons of the developed world face. Obesity increases a person's threat for contracting diabetes, strokes, heart problems, certain kinds of cancer etc. What's worse is the over two thirds of the industrialized world's population is suffering from obesity and that's putting them in greater health dangers. In recent years, policymakers and medical experts have expressed alarm about the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States. While most agree that the issue deserves attention, consensus dissolves around how to respond to the problem. This literature review examines one approach to treating childhood obesity: medication. The paper compares the effectiveness for adolescents of the only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the long term treatment of obesity, sibutramine and orlistat. This examination of pharmacological treatments for obesity points out the limitations of medication and suggests the need for a comprehensive solution that combines medical , social, behavioral, and political approaches to the complex problem.
Why Is Child Obesity an Important Health Problem in America? A Review of the literature
According to researcher, Tyre (2004), In March 2004, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona called attention to a health problem in the United States that, until recently, has been overlooked: childhood obesity” 15% child obesity rate constitutes an “epidemic”. Since the early 1980s that rate has “doubled in children and tripled in adolescents.” Now more than nine million children are classified as obese. While the traditional response to a medical epidemic is to hunt for a vaccine or a cure-all pill, childhood obesity has proven more elusive; the lack of success of recent initiatives suggests that medication might not be the answer for the escalating problem. Another reason children may be overweight is the fact that developing and more highly developed countries are eating more beef and the meat, especially in the United States, has growth hormones in it in trace amounts. The laws in the United States allow cattle to be slaughtered for meat within hours of having been fed growth hormones, while in Europe this is forbidden. Studies have shown that growth hormones create overweight children, with early development and growth spurts during pre-teen years. This literature review considers whether the use of medication is a promising approach for solving the childhood obesity problem by responding to the following questions: 1. Is over eating an addiction that can lead up to obesity? 2. What are the impact confronting the Childhood Obesity Epidemic? 3. What are the implications of childhood obesity?
4. Is Medication Effective at Treating Childhood Obesity? 5. Is Medication safe for children?
6. Is Medication the Best Solution?
Understanding the limitations of medical treatments for children highlights the complexity of the childhood obesity problem in the United States and underscores the need for physicians, advocacy groups, and policymakers to search for other solutions. Is over eating an addiction that can lead up to obesity?
Many people tend to think that all obese people have to do to solve their problems is eat less and move more. Alcoholics, on the other hand, need treatment. But are the two disorders really all that different? Is it possible that eating in today’s sweet and salty fast-food world is actually somewhat, well, addictive? Could people with a predilection to abusing alcohol and drugs just as easily abuse food? Researchers Berkowitz, Wadden, Tershakovec (2003)...
References: Berkowitz, R.I., Wadden, T.A., Tershakovec, A.M., & Conquist, J.L. (2003). Behavior therapy and sibutramine for the treatment of adolescent obesity. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 1805-1812.
Critser, G. (2003). Fat Land. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 250-255.
Ebbeling CB, Pawlak DB, Ludwig DS. Childhood obesity: public-health crisis, common sense cure (2002). The New York Times; 360: 473-82.
Flegal, K. M., Carroll, M.D., Ogden, C. L., & Johnson, C. L. (2002). Prevalence and trends in
Obesity among U.S
Lee CD, Blair SN, Jackson SJ. Cardiovascular fitness, body composition, and all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality in children (1999). Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 69:373-80.
Ogden CL, Carroll MD, & Curtin LR. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, (2009). The New England Journal of Medicine, 500:1549-1555.
Robinson, T. N., & Killen, J. D. (2004). Body image, eating disorders, and obesity in youth.Phychology. Journal of the American Medical of Association, 32(3), 167-169.
Tyre, P. (2004). Fighting big fat. Newsweek, pp. 38-40.
Willett WC, Manson JE. The relationship between overweight in adolescence and premature death in women (2002). Journal of the American Medical Association, 145:91-97.
Yanovski, S.Z. & Yanovski, J.A. (2002). Drug therapy: obesity. The Journal of Medicine, 346:591-602.
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