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Research paper on child obesity

March 1, 2012

Introduction

Obesity is regarded as a common medical state that is normally identified by the use of body mass index (BMI). It occurs when an individual’s body has built up surplus fat to such a degree that it has serious and unpleasant on the health of the individual. This has lead to a rapid raise of health problems and a great diminished rate of life expectancy. Obesity is the root cause of various diseases such as some varying sorts of cancer, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and most commonly heart diseases. Studies have been carried out to determine the causes and solutions for obesity over a period of time, since it has been regarded as the principal avoidable root of death worldwide and the cause of serious public health in the 21st century. The occurrence of chunky children and obesity is escalating and currently it is estimated to be 15.5% and 37%.

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According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, it is predicted that 133,000 schools offer a chance for over 55 million pupils to expand on their knowledge about health and enhance the proficiency that advance and encourage healthy practices. Schools can come up with surroundings that are helpful to the efforts and sacrifice of learners to eat healthily and they can therefore be vigorous by coming up with policies and ways of life that sustain healthy eating and constant physical activities. Moreover, schools provide chances for children to know more about healthy living choices and to carry out healthy habits. Obesity in today’s world affects 17% of the entire children and teenagers in the United States. Between the late 20th century and 2008, the rate of children and teenagers suffering from obesity has increased over three times and now, more than one third of them are overweight. Statistics indicate that these children have 7 to 8 out of 10 chance of remaining overweight in their adult lives. This revelation would pose to become an even greater problem in the future years.

Obesity is portrayed by a soaring phenotype heterogeneity associated particularly to discrepancies in the phases of weight evolution. According to studies done on twins, siblings or children from the same family who were adopted by different families, there is a synergistic correlation linking genes and their upbringing. This may result to several cases in which a child suffers from genes endocrine disorders. Although rare, these endocrine disorders are related to obesity. An illustration is the Prader-Willi syndrome, which transpires from a chromosome 15 flaw. Children who go through this disorder experience extreme weight increase between the ages of 12 to 18 months and beyond. Children who suffer from obesity caused by this condition are normally very hungry and have an uncomfortable time feeling contented after eating. If your child shows familiar indications of unexplained weight addition, an endocrine disorder may be the fault and root cause. Therefore, if the gene order is reproduced, children are at a greater susceptibility to obesity.

There are also various varying factors that lead to obesity in children today. They include environmental attributes, unhealthy diet, inactive lifestyles and poor or little physical activities. Children may lack sufficient sleep due to playing or watching television in their rooms till late and they may also become exposed to various pollutants in our environment which meddle with the metabolism of lipids in their bodies.  Other factors may also include: Increased and rapid variations in ambient heat or cold conditions, relative augment in ethnic and age clusters that have a propensity of being heavier, epigenetic hazardous factors that are carried on through generations and natural selection for elevated Body Mass Index. Usually, obese children have immense energy expenditure compared to their slim age-mates because they need to sustain their amplified body mass.

Obesity has been a major problem because of the modern society shifts from the healthy feeding. The children now dwell on the fast foods such as burgers and other deep fried foods. These diets engross a high content of calories (Centers for Disease Control, 2011). The calories then accumulate in the children’s bodies as they continue with the consumption. Ultimately, the foods have a very low content of other nutrients. This unhealthy feeding can sometimes be fatal where death is involved mostly due to heart attacks and other related illnesses. Other than these unhealthy dietary habits, lack of adequate physical exercises in PE lessons in schools which are often short or children create excuses.

Recreation techniques have made significant advancements in the society since the ancient times. This is definitely attributable to the technological developments in the recent society. In the past, the children engaged in more outdoor activities. They dwelt on this outdoor rendezvous as their sole source of entertainment. Loneliness was a non-existent phenomenon in this era. The children would interact with each other completely during their outdoor engagements. They mostly spent their time on toys as well as bikes. It is undeniable that their mode of entertainment was more often than not physical. This factor was a definite aspect that propagated their growth and development. They grew physically fit, and developed their cognitive abilities significantly (Defining Overweight and Obesity, 2010).

Mostly parents are the ones to blame for obesity in their children. Statistics show that most obese parents have overweight children due to similarities in their feeding habits. Parents have become so obsessed with their careers that their do not spare time for their children. They buy toys and involving video games to keep them out of their way as they work. Because of their tight schedules and professional lives they have hired house helps, who take little or no attention to the children. These parents have no time to cook diner because in most instances they are ‘tired’ to do so, therefore, they buy junk foods which are not goods for the children at their tender age.

Also, given that children spend most of their time at school, the school surroundings can have a major contributing factor on children’s diets. Engaging students in healthy eating and constant physical activity helps lessen their possibility of being obese and other associated chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer; the primary cause of death on people aged 18 years or above. Their teachers are not keen on the physical education since they mostly insist on the academics. There should be at least daily program for physical education which should result in punishment or strict actions taken in case these programs are not adhered to.

Public health concentrates on childhood obesity, concern for children’s health, as opposed to their looks. In these hard economic times people have results to buying cheap processed foods which are greatly accessible and convenient to buy as opposed to healthy foods such as vegetables which have to be prepared and cooked. Considering that most children love sweet and tasty foods they go for delicacies which are junk. Turning around the obesity scourge needs a lasting, well-coordinated approach to get to young people in wherever they are located. Schools are key partners in this effort.

Sedentary lifestyles also contribute a lot to obesity. In the whole world, huge change towards less physically involving work are being practiced, statistics show that presently, at least 60% of people in the world do not get enough exercise.This is mainly due to growing number of transportation that has been mechanized and a bigger dominance of labor-saving technology for domestic use.In children, there have been reduced levels of physical activity which are brought about since most board buses to school while others drive and reduced physical education. Global tendencies in active leisure moments are not as clearer. The World Health Organization points out that individuals universally are taking up fewer active frivolous activities. A study from the United States found leisure-time physical activity has not changed significantly. In children, there is a relationship linking television screening time and the dangers of obesity.A 2008 meta- study found that 86% indicated a bigger speed at which childhood obesity with a lot of media publicity, with charges escalating proportionally to time used up in watching television.

In the recent society, the outdoors engagements are a past tense. They constitute the history of the past forms of entertainment in the children. In the modern society, technology has brought new modes of entertainment to the children. Technology has brought the invention of video games. In this invention, children sit back and play games in the screen. It brings a reluctant effect to the children, where they do not engage in the outdoor activities anymore. Upon their arrival from school, they sit on the couch, ready to start a new video game. In case of any engagement, the children just pause on the game and get back to pick from where they had left. Evidently, the video games entail less physical activity in the children.  Due to these video games, they do not burn calories in their body. Healthy living involves the consumption of what the body ingests. This fact explains the obesity phenomenon in the children. Definitely, most of the children having obesity dwell on video games as the key sources of entertainment.

Attitudes of children are almost similar in most ways. More often than not, children may feel lazy or shy to engage in physical activities such as games, jogging and exercising because they are young adolescents who feel aware and sometimes insecure about their body changes. Some activities are however deemed cool especially in schools. Cheerleading, basketball and football are among the popular physical activities that children, teenager as well as young adults normally engage in. However, it is unfortunate for the students who are not physically fit because such clubs are only for ‘cool’ and ‘beautiful’ individuals. It is therefore evident, sadly, that most children view obese individuals as unpopular and frequently make fun of them and segregate them.

Conclusion

Changing the lifestyle habits of our children will impact greatly on the improvement of their health and increase their knowledge on healthy living habits. Supporting obese children as they go through these changes and encouraging them to engage in enjoyable physical activities as well as finding time to be with them and spending time doing physical activities will lead to outstanding changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Centers for Disease Control: Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report, CDC. 2011. Print.

National Center for Health Statistics: Defining overweight and obesity. CDC. June 21, 2010. Print.

Institute of Medicine, Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2004, Institute of Medicine: Washington, D.C.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2008, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Washington, DC.