Childhood obesity has increased over the years due to genetics, environment, and cultural. There may be a combination of these factors that contribute to the widespread epidemic that is affecting our country today. Most people never take the time to figure out the problem and come up with a solution. Obesity is caused by lack of physical activity, poor eating habits, and genetics. In order to escape the recurring disease; some changes need to be made. Obesity is when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and weight. The problem is that children are becoming more obese.
Understanding the causes of childhood obesity would be most beneficial in addressing the problem. While playing video games and watching television children have a tendency to want to snack. There is nothing wrong with it, but they need to go outside and play afterwards. They aren’t burning off any calories. Moderate intense regular physical activity is essential for the prevention of overweight and obesity (Raj 2010). Children should engage in some type of physical activity daily. Kids are more apt to do activities if they think of it as fun.
Children should be prescribed physical activity that is safe, developmentally appropriate, interesting, and practical and has a social element (Raj 2010). Genetic makeup plays a role in obesity. There is considerable evidence to suggest that, like height, weight is a heritable trait (Sadaf Farooqi 2007). Having obese family members can very well have a lot to do with obesity in children. A recent article reported an odds ratio of >4 for the development of childhood obesity when there is a family history of obesity (Signorino &Winter 2008).
White adipose tissue (WAT) is the principal target tissue in obesity (Mitchell 2009). The environment in which one lives in can have something to do with becoming obese. Environmental risk factors for overweight and obesity are very strong and inter-related (Raj & Kumar 2010). The food choices children intake should be monitored. The amount of a food should be monitored as well. Children have tendency to want to eat foods that are high in fat. Children and adolescents of poor socio-economic status tend to consume less quantities of fruits and vegetables and to have a higher intake of total and saturated fat
(Raj & Kumar 2010). There are risk and complications that come along with being obese. Being obese you run the risk of have cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Obesity significantly contributes to morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (Raj & Kumar 2010). Not only are there risks, but obesity affects a child’s self-esteem. Obese children are a target for being bullied and picked on. They tend to feel worthless about themselves. Their perception of themselves becomes damaged. It can sometimes affect their grades.
Obesity can be managed and controlled with the right treatment and diet. For successful obesity management, the child should be assessed and treated by a multidisciplinary team, including a physician, dietitian, exercise expert, nurse and behavior therapist (Nowicka 2005). With that said, with the right treatment a child who is obese can get help. The ultimate goal is to bring the weight down to where it should be. Eating the right amount as well as the right foods helps with dropping weight. Eating out is a quick fix and should be cut down to a minimum.
There should be a plan for healthier snacks, balanced diet, and adequate intake of more fruits and vegetables to avoid high calorie/high fat foods. Obesity in children often leads to obese teenagers who then become obese adults. Health as well as self esteem is often compromise when dealing with the lives of obese children and adults. Identifying and managing obesity in childhood is pertinent in slowing this epidemic down before it is too late to do anything about it. Reference Farooqi, S. (2007). Insights from the Genetics of Severe Childhood Obesity. Hormone Research, 68(S5), 5-7. doi:10.
1159/000110462 Mitchell, G. A. (2009). Genetics, physiology and perinatal influences in childhood obesity: view from the Chair. International Journal of Obesity, 33S41-S47. doi:10. 1038/ijo. 2009. 16 Nowicka, P. (2005). Dietitians and exercise professionals in a childhood obesity treatment team. Acta Paediatrica. Supplement, 94(s448), 23-29. doi:10. 1080/08035320510035537 Raj, M. , & Kumar, R. (2010). Obesity in children & adolescents. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 132(5), 598-607. Signorino, M. R. , & Winter, W. E. (2008). Childhood Obesity and Diabetes. Current Medical Literature: Diabetes, 25(1), 1-16