Preventing Childhood Obesity - Essay Example

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The researcher of this following essay will attempt to discuss and present the various mechanisms involved in childhood obesity. The role of parents and schools will be included in the study as well as the advantages of curbing this health problem…
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Preventing Childhood Obesity
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Download file to see previous pages The focus in this paper is on obesity is regarded as a health problem due to the health consequences accompanied by it, mostly heart diseases, blood pressure, and diabetes. According to CDC, a population-based sample revealed that 70% of obese children develop cardiovascular diseases. When obesity is not prevented at childhood, it is likely to continue in adulthood. Birch & Ventura add that, decreasing sedentary behavior is among the interventions that can prevent childhood obesity. WHO estimated the number of obese children below the age of five years at 42million globally in 2010, 35million of this number being present in the developing countries. Therefore, childhood obesity is on the rise, and as a result, it requires prevention. Here, a change in lifestyle is necessary, which includes healthy diets, engaging in physical activities, among others. Nevertheless, both the parents and the schools can play a vital role in preventing childhood obesity. Parents can ensure healthy eating habits such as, encouraging greens, low fat food or drinks, and serving the children with reasonable portions of foods. In schools, the administration can also encourage mandatory physical activities. The problem of child obesity is a global health problem. Efforts and strategies are required in order to address this international problem. Childhood obesity is a common and serious health problem. When a child is above the normal weight for his age and height, he/she is obese. The extra pounds gained are the key to health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure among other health issues. A child can also suffer from depression and low self-esteem due to isolation. However, there are solutions to childhood obesity; preventing childhood obesity protects a child’s health at the present and in the future as well. Birch and Ventura (2009, p.75) explain that, the school-based interventions have limited success to prevention of obesity. A study conducted in 2005 on United States school-attending children proved that, schools provide contexts of physical behavior and eating behaviors that influence weight. When children enroll in a school, 20% of 2-5 years stand at a risk of being overweight; therefore, this is the prime opportunity to prevent obesity (Birch and Ventura, 2009, p.75). In this period, these children are still learning the eating habits - in school, they are exposed to many commercial foods. Children eating behaviors are influenced by their parents and care givers; caregivers organize the child’s menu, and as a result, the child learns what should be eaten and what poses as a risk. The parenting practices regarding food shape a child’s eating habit, and therefore, parents should advocate for healthy feeding habits. Parents have a role to play in preventing obesity. WHO (2012) advocates that parents should administer healthy foods and drinks, as well as encourage physical activities. Children’s behaviors are shaped by observing and adapting, therefore when parents promote healthy lifestyle their children are likely to adapt to that lifestyle. In addition, non-active time can be reduced, encouraging walking or cycling to school; family games are also a remedy. Harvard medical school ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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