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Childhood Obesity and Ways to Prevent It Essay

It would be a gross understatement to say that childhood obesity has become a serious problem in America over the last several years. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated childhood obesity is the fastest growing health crisis in the United States. Over the past thirty years, the rate of obesity has more than tripled for children aged 6 to 11 and more than doubled for adolescents aged 12 to 19. It’s been approximated that more than 33% of youths aged 2 to 19 are overweight or obese. Being an obese child has an enormous impact on physical, mental, and emotional health along with social and overall development. Research has shown obese youths have a higher risk of chronic conditions such as asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, bone/joint problems, sleep apnea, and even certain types of cancer. Equally important is the emerging health concern of metabolic syndrome among American youths, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. There are many ways one could prevent obesity.

Longer physical education classes and healthier food choices at schools would be very beneficial. It is typical that a parent will do the food shopping for the home so it is important to make healthy, wholesome selections when food shopping. It is also typical for the parent to be the one to take the kids through the drive-thru window, buy them sugary snacks at the store, and super size their meals. It is obvious, then, that the home environment is the first place to set the foundation for proper nutrition. This topic interests me because being from Louisiana I know a lot of obese or over weight children because Louisiana happens to be the second fattest state in the country. Also being a kinesiology major it makes me very interested in exercise and ways to make people more fit and healthy.

In the article, it states that the authors work in the Department of Nursing. The article was published at the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland that proves that the article was written by researchers in the medical field. Since that is all I could find about the authors I could not say that this article is fully credible. The purpose of this article is to review the factors that contribute to the development of childhood obesity, its consequences, and the interventions for managing the problem. The authors found that childhood obesity is associated with the presence of genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors, while its consequences are connected with cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory diseases. Certain psychosocial and endocrine disorders were also observed.

According to the authors, “management of the problem can be achieved with targeted interventions in the presence of the family, school and community environment.” (Koukourikos et al) This quote explains ways that obesity can be prevented and whom can help to prevent it. The authors came to the conclusion that childhood obesity is directly connected with the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, a change in healthy eating habits, and reduced physical activity. After reading this article, I feel that I gained a lot of knowledge about childhood obesity as a whole. The article was helpful because it talked not only about obesity but also many of the effects it has on children and briefly talks about what would have to be done to reduce the obesity rates.

The University of Southern California website stated that Donna Spruijt-Metz’s research focuses on childhood obesity and has her Ph.D. in Adolescent Health and Medical Ethics. She is also the Director, Responsible Conduct Research for the Keck School of Medicine, and the Associate Editor for Pediatric Obesity. This makes Donna Spruijt-Metz extremely qualified to be writing this article. She states that childhood obesity has become an epidemic on a worldwide scale. This article gives an overview of the progress made in childhood and adolescent obesity research in the last decade. The author talks about current definitions of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity. She states the three major obesity-related behaviors and genetic components of childhood obesity.

She has done research on how the environment has influences on childhood and adolescent obesity. Lastly, she briefly explains the progress in interventions to prevent and treat childhood and adolescent obesity. The author concludes with recommendations for future research, including the need for large-scale, high-dose, and long-term interventions that take into account the complex nature of the problem. This article was informational and helpful explaining why children are becoming more and more obese. Also, the author explained on how to prevent obesity so this article was helpful for my research topic.

On an “About the Authors” webpage, it stated that Leah M. Frerichs works in the College of Public Health department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. UNMC is one of the top centers for cardiovascular disease research along with several other diseases. Ozgur Araz also work at UNMC in the public health department as an assistant professor. He has his PhD in industrial engineering and has written thirteen other medical articles. Terry T-K Huang is the professor and chair of the department of health promotion, social, and behavioral health at UNMC. He has his PhD is preventive medicine. With this being said, all three of the authors sound very qualified for this article on obesity and how to prevent it because of their medically inclined backgrounds.

The authors of this article do research at a couple different places, which includes the Erasmus Medical Center, the TNO Child Health Center, the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, and the University of Twente. Their research has several studies dealing with children and what contributes to their health and weight. All of these centers deal with health and children, which makes these authors well certified to write an article on my topic.

two interventions aim to support parents of preschool children to realize healthy child nutrition and activity behaviors of their young child. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of the two overweight prevention interventions with regard to child health behaviors and child Body Mass Index. Methods/design A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted among parents and their preschool children who attend one of 51 participating YHC teams. The teams were randomly allocated to one of the two intervention groups, or to the control group (care as usual). The ‘BBOFT+’ intervention focuses on effective child rearing by parents from birth onwards by enlarging parental skills concerning healthy behavioral life-style habits. Parents who are allocated to the ‘E-health4Uth Healthy toddler’ intervention group, at the child age of circa 18 and 24 months old, are invited to complete an online E-health module providing tailored health education regarding healthy child nutrition and activity behaviors.

The E-health messages are discussed and reinforced during the subsequent regularly scheduled visits by YHC professionals, and were repeated after 4 weeks. The primary outcome measures at child age 3 years are: overweight inducing/reducing behaviors, (for ‘BBOFT+” only) healthy sleep, Body Mass Index and prevalence of overweight and obesity. Secondary outcome measures are attitudes and other cognitive characteristics of the parents regarding the overweight-related behaviors of their child, parenting styles and practices, and health-related quality of life of the children. Discussion We hypothesize that the use of the additional interventions will result in a healthier lifestyle of preschool children and an improved BMI and less development of overweight and obesity compared to usual care.

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