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Consequences of Childhood Obesity - Research Paper Example

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This essay describes the health consequences of obesity and the reasons for the disease. Obesity in early years of life is a matter of concern because of potential health consequences that can occur like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, and etc. …
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Consequences of Childhood Obesity
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Download file to see previous pages There are several conditions which can cause obesity and these are known as secondary causes. These include endocrine disorders like deficiency of growth hormone, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, insulinoma and polycystic ovarian disease; genetic syndromes like Bardet- Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome, intake of certain drugs during long term like corticosteroids and phenothiazine and presence of certain eating disorders like binge eating. Obesity is now considered to be a chronic disease with onset in as early as childhood or even adolescence mainly due to imbalance in input-output. Several co-morbid conditions are associated with obesity (Schwarz, Emedicine). Increased accumulation of fat occurs when intake of total energy exceeds expenditure of energy in the body. In children, the most common cause of such energy disparity is television viewing, inadequate physical activity and excessive use of computer and videogames (Schwarz, Emedicine). There are several theories to ascertain energy imbalance and obesity. One of the latest theory is the gut-brain-hypothalamic axis imbalance in which the hrelin/leptin hormonal pathway is disrupted. Abnormalities in this pathway can lead to abnormal control of appetite and excess intake of energy. N-Leptin, which is a 16-kD protein is predominantly produced in the white adipose tissue. It is very important in controlling the satiety center in the hypothalamus. Deficiency of leptin leads to abnormal satiety and excess consumption of food leading to obesity. In some patients, leptin may not be deficient, but can be resistant contributing to obesity despite high leptin levels (Schwarz,...
This essay "Consequences of Childhood Obesity" outlines the harmful impact of this illness on the physical and mental health of a child. There has been enough research to relate television watching to increased prevalence of childhood obesity. The first study was by Dietz and Gortmaker in 1985 (The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity, 2004). They reported that there was significant association between the amount of time spent by the children in watching television and obesity (The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity, 2004). They also inferred that among 12 to 17 year olds, the prevalence of obesity increased by 2% for each additional hour spent in front of television. It has been estimated that 29% of obesity cases can be prevented by reducing television viewing to less than an hour a day (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004). In general, increased physical activity and decreased intake of unnecessary calories seem to be crucial in most cases of childhood obesity. However, there are conflicting reports about the type of physical activity interventions and the place of interventions. According to a meta-analysis by Harri et al (2009; pg. 720) in which the objective was to "determine whether school-based physical activity interventions improve children's body composition, as measured by BMI" (Harris et al, 2009, pg. 721 ). The results of the study indicated that school-based physical activities did not cause improvement in the body mass index and that such interventions did not have a significant impact on the prevalence of childhood obesity. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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