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CHILDHOOD OBESITY - Research Paper Example

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Childhood obesity is one of the leading healthcare issues facing children and adolescents in America today. Nearly 10% of children below 2 years and 21% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 years are classified as being overweight for his or her age and height (Ogden et. al., 242). …
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Download file to see previous pages... I. Parents fear the intervening in their child’s life regarding food and eating would result in their losing their child’s love and appreciation. A. Parents need to realize that their child’s health issue needs to be identified and confronted. B. This intervention should be done by the parents since they are the ones whom the child can trust and gain support from. II. Some parents feel that their overweight children will grow out of their weight problems as the years go by. A. Children normally gain weight throughout their early years of childhood because it is a necessary part of the growth process. B. However we cannot depend on the child’s routine growth spurts to compensate for the child’s weight problem. III. Some parents feel that their child may seem overweight based on growth charts but it is not really a weight problem since everyone in their family is ‘big boned’. A. Focus should be on the growth and body mass index charts. B. One cannot rationalize the overweight issue of a child. IV. Parents are responsible to adapt healthy meals and exercise routines to help their children to lead healthy lifestyles. Parents should therefore lead by example. Childhood obesity is one of the leading healthcare issues facing children and adolescents in America today. Nearly 10% of children below 2 years and 21% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 years are classified as being overweight for his or her age and height (Ogden et. al., 242). Childhood obesity has been found to be more prevalent among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic preschool-aged children compared to non-Hispanic white children (Anderson et. al., 344). The extra pounds in children often lead to health issues that were once common among adults like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self esteem and depression in children. Although a lot has been blamed on television food advertising (Mehta, 535), spending too much time in front of the T.V. or computer, lack of exercise and proper nutrition, one cannot ignore the fact that parents are ultimately responsible for the health of their child and they need to set examples and encourage their children to choose a healthier lifestyle. Some parents do not agree with this idea because they maintain that their children should grow up being independent and have the freedom to choose what they want to eat or what they want to do. They claim that if they intervene in their child’s life regarding food and eating, it could make matters worse or lose their child’s love and appreciation (Natenshon, 2). They also fear that they may interfere with their child’s privacy and developing autonomy by stepping in to rectify an eating problem in the making. However, parents need to recognize that their child’s health issue cannot be resolved unless and until it is identified and confronted. And who better to do it than someone whom they can trust and gain support from – the parents! In fact, some health care professionals also believe that parents should not be involved in their child’s treatment for eating disorders. They express concern about the issues of separation/individuation and the need for protecting the child’s privacy. But this stance too frequently blinds them to the need to educate and guide parents through family therapy, where they become mentors to their child and provide a supportive environment to their child to assist in the recovery process. These professionals must understand that the most successful separation takes place through healthy bonding between parents and children. Studies have shown that working with parents to prevent obesity in the early years can place young children on a lifelong trajectory toward ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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