Childhood obesity is a major healthcare challenge among several households in the modern world. Despite the magnitude of health problems associated with obesity, several health professionals are still not willing or ready to create a close and cordial working relationship with the parents of the affected children. To a large extent, the issue of obesity among children merely demands lifestyle change.
If healthcare providers cannot cooperate with parents, obesity might remain a chronic healthcare issue in several decades to come. On the same note, parents and guardians should also have an express mandate to seek medical assistance for affected children.
If obesity is not addressed at the childhood level, there are higher chances that it might transit to adulthood (Gollust, Niederdeppe & Barry, 2013). Needless to say, it is a complex undertaking to manage obesity at the adulthood stage bearing in mind that it agitates the entry-level of major chronic infections such as cardio-vascular diseases, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes.
Identification of a problem in a capstone project is usually the initial phase. In this case, we seek to identify and understand the reasons why childhood obesity is ever on the rise despite concerted efforts by healthcare professionals to curtail the challenge. Physical exercise and a balanced dietary intake are some of the intervention measures that are yet to generate positive results. In addition, it has been argued that a comprehensive and collaborative education plan can be executed in learning institutions from the elementary level.
It is prudent to mention that childhood obesity is a growing health concern across the globe. Initially, obesity, in general, was a preserve of the developed world. However, the pattern remarkably changed ever since the introduction of genetically modified foods in the manufactured food substances. Regrettably, childhood obesity is ever rising regardless of the control measures being put in place. Children as young as two years are already struggling with obesity.
Worrying statistics reveal that an estimated 45 million elementary children were diagnosed with gross childhood obesity by the close of the first decade of the new Millennium (Trasande, 2010). This global figure represented a whopping 60 % rise since 1990. This demonstrates a significant rise over one decade. We may not refute the fact that a lot needs to be done in terms of devising viable strategies to minimize childhood obesity.
Critically-high rates of obesity have been witnessed in uneducated households and low-income families. It appears that the rapid rise of childhood obesity is linked to the economic well-being of vulnerable populations. This explains the logic why a curriculum on obesity should be implemented from the preschool level. There are also several non-compliant parents and guardians from economically well-off families who should be educated on the dangers of childhood obesity.
One of the negative impacts of obesity is that it costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The management of obesity is a major healthcare burden at the local, state, and federal levels (Gollust et al., 2013). It is the role of the nursing fraternity to embark on a rigorous education program. The latter can begin from the early childhood years especially during postnatal care. There is no other solution for childhood obesity apart from embracing lifestyle change. Medication that follows later in life is a highly cosmetic method of treating obesity.
It is unfortunate to learn that most parents and guardians are still ignorant of the health challenges posed by obesity despite the fact commercials and advertisements have been used to create a lot of awareness. The message across the board is always the same in the sense that a healthy diet and physical exercise lower the chances of becoming obese. Perhaps, there is a need to repackage this message in a different style so that it can be understood and accepted by the vulnerable segments of the population.
Myriads of solutions can be adopted to solve childhood obesity. First, it is upon the primary healthcare providers to approach parents, teachers, and other education officials in developing an education curriculum on preventive healthcare management. Obesity should be the main concern in such a curriculum. Second, physical activity should be part and parcel of the lessons taught at the elementary or preschool level. Children should be taken through practical lessons regularly (Trasande, 2010).
To sum it up, the demeaning effects of obesity cannot be overstated. While it deteriorates the health of victims, it creates psychological torment. It is equally a health burden to manage obesity, especially at the advanced level. It calls for a bipartisan approach between healthcare providers on one side and parents, teachers as well as education officials on the other side to effectively manage the menace of childhood obesity.
Gollust, S. E., Niederdeppe, J. & Barry, C. L. (2013). Framing the consequences of childhood obesity to increase public support for obesity prevention policy. American Journal of Public Health, 103(11), E96-E102.
Trasande, L. (2010). How much should we invest in preventing childhood obesity? Health Affairs, 29(3), 372-378.