Childhood obesity and overweight is a condition whereby excessive fat in the body of a child adversely affects the health of the child. Obesity emanates from the intake of excess calories than what the body requires under normal conditions. It has been realized as not only an epidemic but also one of the major causes of the high cost of the economy in some countries like the United States. Parents and those concerned with child care are supposed to balance energy intake from foods with the one released by metabolic activities. The condition has become prevalent in the world and this raises concern in the public health sector (Edelstein, p. 88).
Public health approach to childhood obesity
Actions or approaches should be established to address obesity and reduce its prevalence among young children. A new public health approach is required to address this issue around the world. The working party has to develop strategies that will help in addressing the excess gaining of weight. In an attempt to develop and implement effective strategies, a major concern should be driven on factors that lead to the development of obese conditions in children.
This should focus on barriers to change of lifestyle at personal, environmental, and socioeconomic levels. It should also involve different levels of stakeholders and some other major parties concerned with health issues. Policy actions to be taken as public health approaches should be concerned with the food and the physical activity environments. The policy actions should also influence eating habits to improve eating and physical activity behaviors (O’Dea and Eriksen, p. 213).
Strategies to address childhood obesity
Some strategies can be used to address the prevalent condition of childhood obesity. One of them is initiating highly publicized lawsuits. This will restrict major food providers who might be responsible for the provision of unbalanced and unhealthy food products to children. This will help minimize the issue as children will be discontinued from intake of foods from such providers. Another strategy is that legislative bodies can change the practices of consumption of unhealthy food products which is done through personal responsibility. Thirdly, a lot of physical activity should be encouraged among the children.
This helps break the much content of fat and utilize it in the basal metabolic rate in the body. Physical activities help to balance the intake of calories into the body and those utilized for muscular activity. Fourth, setting some standards of nutrition for foods that are offered to children at young ages can help prevent obesity and address the issue effectively. This ensures that children at a young age are fed healthy food that will not affect their health. The use of Coordinated child health-related programs in state agencies, in conjunction with non-governmental organizations, can also help address the issue of obesity. These programs are quite effective in ensuring high, healthy standards for children at a young age (Parker, p. 72).
Childhood obesity is associated with significant health risks and high costs to the economy. Therefore, it requires quick action and effective prevention strategies. This is because research shows that obesity has serious effects on children which have led to an increase in the mortality rate in the world. The public health sector should put much effort to establish effective prevention measures that will save children. The above-mentioned public health approaches and strategies can help minimize the spread of obesity among young children.
Edelstein, Sari. Nutrition in Public Health: A Handbook for Developing Programs and Services. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.
O’Dea, Jennifer A. and Michael P. Eriksen. Childhood Obesity Prevention: International Research, Controversies, and Interventions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
Parker, Lynn. Legal Strategies in Childhood Obesity Prevention: Workshop Summary. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2011. Print.