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Child Obesity - Research Paper Example

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Child Obesity Name Institution The growth and development of a child is divided in stages which are accompanied by changes. Stages of childhood include; infancy, toddler hood, pre-school, middle childhood and adolescence. In every stage, a child develops physically and emotionally…
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Child Obesity
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Child Obesity

Download file to see previous pages... In 2008, 35% people believed that obesity in children was a huge problem, while in 2009, that number increased to 45%. Childhood Obesity is a medical state that affects young children as well as adolescents. It is such a serious condition that some countries have declared it an epidemic that needs to be dealt with. Obesity in childhood is determined by age, weight and height; it occurs when a child’s weight is way above what is required for his/her height and age (Paxton, 2006). Obesity is a serious medical condition because it is a risk factor to many other conditions that were once only found in adults, For instance, increased blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and diabetes. Other than these risks, obese children are more likely to have low self esteem that may lead to depression. Childhood obesity is preventable; the most recommended strategies are to improve diet by decreasing the intake of energy-dense foods that have high content of sugars and fat and increasing intake in minerals, vitamins and other micronutrients that are healthy. Obese children are likely to continue with the condition in adulthood and may lead to early death. Preventing obesity in childhood ensures better and quality health even in the future (Paxton, 2006). Obesity is a global problem and has posed a great public health challenge. It affects both the low and high income earners especially in urban settings. The prevalence of obesity is steady and increasing at a rate that has stunned health officials. Global statistics by the World Health Organization indicate that in 2010 over 42 million children below the age of five are overweight. A significant number of these children (about 35 million) live in the developing countries (Holecko, 2011). These statistics are alarming considering the risks associated with obesity. Obesity has been prioritized by many governments because of its risks and the fact that it is preventable. A recent study on childhood obesity found in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine finds that 1 in every 5 children in preschool is obese with a BMI of 18 or more. The study also focused on the racial factor. Of the 8000 children included obese children were found in the following percentiles in the study 13% were Asian 16% were white,21 % were black,22% were Hispanic and 31% were American Indians(Holecko,2011). Physiologists have continued to research childhood obesity and have come up with a lot about its pathology. The prenatal stage marks the beginning of life and has an influence on obesity predisposition. If the fetus is exposed to some hormones in the womb, then it becomes predisposed to obesity. For instance, Neuropeptide Y is a hormone that controls gluttony. The diet of a pregnant woman also influences obesity in children. A mother who ate a diet low in saturated fats and rich in protein significantly improves the lipid profile of their baby. A baby whose mother was undernourished in pregnancy is at a risk of obesity (James et al., 2004). Some children have a sedentary lifestyle, and this directly relates to obesity. Children are using their leisure activities on the computer and watching television. Lack of exercise means that, they cannot maintain the required body weight (Jimerson, 2009). Some curriculums have removed physical education from their programs, thereby denying children their primary source of physical exercise. Children develop habits between the age of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Why is child obesity on the rise
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