Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

The term obesity is used to describe the condition in which an individual has more than enough fat in the body .It occurs when the body weight of the child exceeds the weight of a normal child by about 20%.the prevalence of obesity has been on the upward trend in children between the ages of 2-19 years. It’s estimated that by the tear 2003-2004 about an eighth of the tens and a third of the adults were obese. As much as obesity was unknown during the early years it has grown to become a major health problem affecting a lot the children and adolescents especially in the US. It is also estimated that about a sixth of the children in the US are obese while a quarter of the children in Africa are morbidity obese. It is further alleged that the obesity situation doubled in children and went three fold among the adolescents .These numbers are projected to increase in the coming years. Although obesity is so prevalent, it can be prevented by some of the following methods. First the children should be exclusively breastfed and solid foods withheld until after six moths. Another strategy used is the children should be provided with healthy snacks. They should also be encouraged to take part in regular physical exercise. For the adolescents the habit of consuming healthy foods and regular exercise should be cultivated. (Bessesen DH, 2008)
Causes of obesity can be caused by an array of casual factors that either work independently or in combination these factors include: dietary, hereditary, lack or little physical activity. The children who are less involved in physical activities tend to be prone to develop into overweight. Other factors include the home environment. This is where the child’s eating habits are developed from what the family consumes. Also, children who are introduced early to solid foods in their infancy stages tend to develop this condition. (Bessesen D H, 2008).
Scope of the study
The study was evaluating the state of nutrition for children aged between six years to nineteen years of age .we also investigated the factors that were behind the incidence of obesity in the recent years. This group was chosen because it’s the one that had caused a lot of burden the health care infrastructure. The factors investigated included diet, exercise and rest. This was to show the impact of these factors on the chosen group. The study was also carried on the views of the parents about their children’s weight status.
Nature of the problem
Obesity is a condition that involves an individual having more than enough body fat. It’s defined as a condition in which an individual/child has a weight that is more than 25 %of the ideal weight of an average child. As much as obesity was not a major problem in the past, the condition has grown to be a major health concern in most areas globally. The effects of obesity on a child’s health are so far reaching .In addition to giving the child emotional turmoil, obesity has numerous health risks. This is especially so because there is a high likelihood of the child becoming overweight in his/her later life. The child is also faced with the problem of developing heart problems like hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. (Flynn M, McNeil D, Maloff B, et al., 2006)
Justification of your claim
According to Ferry R, obesity had become a really problem globally. This problem was replicated across the US and other counties. This rate had been increasing from the year 1980 .it is estimated that across the US about a sixth of the children between the ages of six to eleven years have this problem. This problem was similar in the ages of adolescence .From the statistics it was estimated that, these numbers may continue to rise in the coming days if the problem is not corrected in time. This problem was also classified as one of those that have brought enormous challenges to the health status of many nations. This increase in prevalence is also reflected in other areas. For instance in Brazil, the rates had risen from about 4%in early years to about 14%. The situation is also similar in Australia especially in the areas where the nutrition education has not penetrated well. (Sydney Morning Herald, 2010).
Methods of data collection
During the investigation, we applied the following methods in collecting the data. First we used the body mass index (BMI).This is a method whereby the child’s weight is monitored against the set weights of average health children. The BMI was calculated by dividing the weight of the child by their height. The height which was in meters, was supposed to be squared to give an appropriate bmi. The value of the BMI extracted was then compared to the reference bmi values for healthy children. Since bmi varies according to the age of the person being surveyed, after getting the value we had to measure it against the CDC BMI for age chart. This chart is specific for both sexes and ranks the scores as a percentage value of the reference value. To asses the nutritional status of the children, any child who was bellow the 5% mark was regarded as being underweight. Consequently those with the weights between the 5th percentile and 95th percentile, they were regarded to be normal.aditionally any child that fall in the range that was above 95% on the CDC chart were regarded as being overweight. ( Jamie O , 2006).
Secondly, we used the 24 hr food recall to assess the amounts of foods the children consumed in a day. This was done for three consecutive days in a week. This exercise was then repeated for at least three weeks to get the true picture. Since the children had the limitation of memory, we used the parents to record the intakes for the children. For the parents’ attitude towards their children, we used an interview where the parents were asked their view of overweight in children and whether they would prefer that case in their children.
Findings
The study was carried out in Australia. The results of the study showed that for the children whose diet was controlled and there exercise regime improved, there was a substantial decrease in weight that went as far as one thousand grammes. These results were obtained in a situation where the children were not allowed to watch TV and they had to ensure that they were involved in exercise especially after their classes. From the research we also found out that about 35% of the parents sampled had issues with their children’s weight status. Similarly about 5%of the parents were of the view that obesity was a major health concern. Consequently about a third of the sampled parents were not satisfied with the way their teachers were handling the education of the children in terms of nutrition awareness. it was also found that for all the children sampled ,adequate sleep improved the child’s BMI. This was evident by the fact that sleep reduced the weight by about 6%of the original weight. (Snell E, Emma K A. and Greg J D, 2010)
Conclusion
From the results above, it was seen that the rates of spread of the problem of obesity had reached alarming levels globally and needed urgent intervention. this shown by the case of Australia, where ,after controlling the eating and exercise habits of the children, there was a decline in weight by about one kilogram. This showed that as much as obesity is prevalent problem world wide, the problem can be managed. This was done by having sound dietary habits for the children and also ensuring that they have a balanced exercise régime. This helped cut down the weight and maintain an ideal weight. The children were also advised to have adequate balanced sleep. This was shown to reduce the incidence of obesity in children. This was the case in Australia where it was demonstrated to reduce the incidence of obesity by about 30%of in adulthood. In the course of helping the children achieve desirable weight, the parents had to be supportive to their children in their endeavors .For the child to have appositive feeling about him; the parents should also show positive altitude towards their children. The main aim in helping these children was to ensure that they don’t gain any weight rather than aiming at reducing their weight. The parents ensured that the children loose weight gradually and not force them to shed it off within a short time. The programme had to have long term variations in their lifestyle. All the members of the family were involved in helping the obese child assure him/her of a sense of belonging. The children should also be given the opportunity to have enough uninterrupted sleep. This will help reduce the instances of obesity in both childhood and later stages in life.

References
Bessesen DH (June 2008). Update on obesity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology
And Metabolism.
Flynn MA, McNeil DA, Maloff B, et al. (2006). Reducing Obesity and Related Chronic
Disease Risk in Children and Youth: A Synthesis Of Evidence With ‘Best Practice’ Recommendations. Obese Rev 7 (Supply 1): 7–66.
Miller J, Rosenbloom A, Silverstein J (2004). Childhood obesity. Journal of Clinical , Endocrinology and Metabolism. 89 (9): pg 4211–8.
Snell E, Emma K A. and Greg J D. (2010). Sleep and the Body Mass Index
and Overweight Status of Children and Adolescents. Child Development Society for Research in Child Development’s
Sydney Morning Herald (2010). How To Deal With Overweight/Obese Children .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011).
Childhood Overweight and Obesity .Retrieved 4/18/2011.

 

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