Childhood Obesity. Growing Waistlines

Obesity is a condition whereby the body accumulates excessive fats as measured by the body mass index. A child is ruled as an obese when their normal weight is approximately 20%; this is more than the weight of a normal child in the appropriate age grouping (Retting, 2010). In the past, obesity was a rare disorder, but this situation has changed. Child obesity is considered to be one of the most common medical conditions among children presently. Health experts believe that the best way to curb this threat is by controlling the poor eating habits. However, this has proved impossible. Therefore, they are attempting to develop other strategies such as encouraging children to exercise at a tender age and controlling eating habits of junk food in large amounts.

Long hours of watching television can also be attributed to this problem as this reduces the metabolic rate of the body, hence, reducing the rate of fats breakdown. This is because most children have adopted the values of having some grabs around while watching television this only surges the problem. Most research conducted on child obesity has revolved around the causes and effects, preventive measures, any possible curative and control measures and the medical services available in the treatment of obesity especially in children.

Research conducted on the causes of obesity indicates that the causes are commonly known though uncontrollable. This includes feeding children with junk food from a tender age and weaning them too early. The body system of a child gets used to the unhealthy food, and they become addicted to this kind of food. Most of these children tend to dismiss healthy food such as fruits and vegetables, and as a result, they gain weight at a very high rate. At that tender age, it is usually difficult for the body to burn all the calories being added to it every day and this result in the accumulation of fats in the body. Further research went ahead, and indicated that this excess fats in the body results in slowed activity rate, in children, as they become naturally lazy. The children tend to play less, and sleep most of the time, and this catalyzed the problem further.

Such children usually have problems breathing, and any minor strain on the body leaves them fatigued. They are unable to interact with their peers because they cannot play for long. These children also suffer rejection and fall victim to bullies especially in schools. This leads to frustration, and they tend to find comfort in eating more, watching television, and staying indoors hence increasing the magnitude of the problem. More research conducted on this issue indicated that children who develop this condition in their early years continued in this state up to adulthood. In fact, cases of obese adults who were not in this state as children are unheard of (Barness, 2007). If this problem is not controlled during childhood, it becomes more complicated as a person grows up.

One of the effects of obesity in adults includes increasing the chances of stroke and other heart diseases. This is as a result of the fats accumulated in the blood vessels which constitute a barrier to the normal flow of blood. Any small amount of pressure in the body of an individual may, therefore, result in stroke owing to this obstructed blood flow. This explains why more than 70% of adults dying of a heart attack were overweight ever since their childhood (Chohan & Singer, 2009). Most of these people lay the blame concerning their weight problems on their parents who were never keen on feeding them with healthy food stuffs. Therefore, parents have a duty ensure that their children are eating healthy even when the children themselves are obstinate with this idea. At this point, the parent has control over the child. And any disposition they instill in them will grow all through adulthood this is true in relation eating habits.

Besides controlling the eating habits, the other preventive measure for obesity in children is developing regular exercising habits. Whenever parents have problems controlling their children’s eating habits, they should ensure that the children are not passive. This can be done by taking for walks or to play grounds where they will be prompted to run around. This requires the time sacrifice on the part of the parent, and they should as well avoid empathizing with the child when they get tired as it is an indicating that some calories have been converted into energy (International conference on physical activity and obesity in children, 2008). Once the children adapt the idea of playing and being active for the better part of the day, it is unlikely that the food they eat no matter how junkie it is will affect their health. This is also a routine that will help them relax even when they are all grown up, and they will develop the habit of exercising their bodies instead of eating when they are stressed with the daily mishaps.

Obesity has no cure. However, it can be controlled by exercising by all age groups. An individual who developed obesity as a child can start an exercising system which despite the fact that it may not reduce their body mass regularly, it will reduce their possibility of developing complications such as heart diseases. This will be difficult at first but, the body is deemed to adjust over time. The medical services provided in this regard most of the time includes nutrition therapy, which involves training, the body to get used to health-food stuffs (Glenn, 2010). Some of these therapies assist in eliminating excess body fats by replacing with body building nutrient. This ensures that the body mass once made up of fats is able to develop strong muscles and eliminate the excessive fats.

In conclusion, obesity is a dangerous condition as it has the potentials of remaining in a person’s body for as long as they live. It primarily affects people from the high-income group because of their ability to afford junk food. Since obesity cannot be cured but controlled, it should, therefore, be prevented. Most of these researches conducted on this indicate that the cost of trying to control obesity is way too high than the cost of preventing it by observing healthy eating habits and developing regular exercising habits. This is why the medical field prefers to promote such preventing routines rather than trying to provide a cure for the same.

References

Barness, L. A. (2007). Obesity in Children. Fetal and Pediatric Pathology, (26), pp. 12- 25

Chohan, J. K., & Singer, A. J. (2009). 132: Obesity in Children. Annals of Emergency Medicine, (54), pp. 30 – 49

Glenn D. (2010). Childhood obesity: An Epidemic That’s Growing up fast. Sinai, LA: Sinai medical center.

International conference on physical activity and obesity in children. (2008).Expert panel report. Summary statement and recommendations,( 34), pp. 34-59

Retting, J. (2010). The Threat of childhood obesity: A pediatric expert talks about growing waistlines. San Diego, CA: Academic press.

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