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Obesity in children-long term effects - Essay Example

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Obesity is a condition characterized by increased body fat in an individual, which is largely due to the presence of high calories and fats that has turned into a widespread overweight epidemic that has affected both adults and children. (Kiess, 2004) Obesity in children…
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Obesity in children-long term effects
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s Long-term effects of Childhood Obesity Obesity is a condition characterized by increased body fat in an individual, which is largely due to the presence of high calories and fats that has turned into a widespread overweight epidemic that has affected both adults and children. (Kiess, 2004) Obesity in children has now become a major health risk and according to recent researches, childhood obesity has tripled in the last three decades. Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects that prevents them from having an active lifestyle and adds to their medical expenses.
As mentioned earlier, the effects of obesity are dichotomized into “immediate” and “Long-term” effects therefore, the prime focus of this prose is to assess both the long-term and immediate effects of obesity that will be discussed one by one in the following text. Obesity exposes the child to higher risk of suffering from a cardiovascular disease and are also more susceptible to prediabetes; a condition characterized by high blood-glucose level that may develop into diabetes in later parts of their lives. (Kiess, 2004)
Children suffering from obesity often experience chronic pain in their limbs, back and joints because of relatively high weight than their heights and age. Obesity also exposes the child to social and psychological repercussions that causes the child to feel socially stigmatized and have lower self-esteem. On the other hand, researches have also discovered that individuals who suffer from obesity in their childhood are likely to suffer from it in their adulthood. Therefore, the individuals are exposed to all the health risk factors outlined earlier and obesity is also associated with many types of cancer. (CDC, 2011)
High fat level in the body exposes the individual to cancer of the breast, colon, cervix, gall bladder, kidney and thyroid. The stress on the joints and bones can cause significant amount of distress to the individual and it also leads to respiratory problems and sleep apnea the latter is associated with high blood pressure. The additional weight adds pressure on the chest wall and lungs that causes the child to have trouble breathing resulting in troubled sleep during the night and sleepiness during the day. Due to fatigue and joint pain the individual is unable to partake in physically challenging activities and may lead to even more fat deposition in the child. (CDC, 2011)
It is evident that obesity affects every individual regardless of age however, in children the problems may be more pronounced because the child undergoes various bodily changes and as a result this can have immense psychosocial repercussions on the child especially for girls who may suffer disturbances in the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, during puberty enlargement of the breast and buttocks that can lead to a negative body image which further leads to a lower self esteem and they have greater trouble in performing everyday tasks effectively.
An article published in the Journal of the American Heart has stated that the arteries of children suffering from obesity look and function in the same way as the arteries of a middle-aged man who smokes. This means that child is as susceptible to suffering a heart attack or stroke as a middle-aged smoker. Findings of another study has stated that obese children are likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke before the age of 65 compared to children who have normal weights and body mass. (Daniels, 2005)
As mentioned earlier, childhood obesity leads to detrimental psychosocial repercussion and thus the child is likely to adopt unhealthy dieting habits and leads to other eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia; whereby the individual binges and vomits everything out. Such disorders may also lead to depression and researches have also discovered a strong pattern of substance abuse amongst individuals, who have suffered from childhood obesity. Therefore, a adoption of a healthy lifestyle and exercise are vital for an individual to prevent from developing such a condition that can be so psychological and physically debilitating.
Works Cited
Childhood Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Adolescent and School health: Childhood Obesity facts”. 2011
Daniels, Stephen R, et al. “Overweight in children and adolescents: pathophysiology, consequences, prevention, and treatment”. Circulation: Journal of American Hearts Association, 2005
Kiess, Wieland “Obesity in Children and Adolescents”. Karger Publishers, 2004: 1-3, 160-170, 220-224 Read More
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