Obesity is a chronic, complex, and multi-factorial preventable problem. It is a process that usually begins in childhood and adolescence, which is set by an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. However, there is an increase in obesity, which affects children socially, environmentally, or metabolically.
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It is observed that in the third world countries children are starving; on the contrary, in developed nations, there is an increasing trend towards obesity. The US tops the list of countries in the world with the highest rate of people with obesity, and it has reached to the extent that this public health problem threatens to overtake smoking as the leading cause of death (Johannsen et al. 431–439).
In previous national surveys of nutrition and health, an alarming number of school-aged children have been recorded suffering from overweight or obesity issues. It is a strong indicator resulting from greater unhealthy practices, which cause obesity or overweight diseases. The growth of childhood obesity in the US is striking and disturbing.
Since the last 15 years, the number of school-aged children obesity problem has increased at a great pace. There are now three times more obese children than there were 15 years ago. The consequences of this development can be very troubling, but solutions exist which require a change in the habits of individuals. The figures are a clear warning sign that must be addressed soon.
It is proven that overweight children are more likely to be obese throughout their lives; hence, consequent problems will arise from this notion (Faith et al. 1711–1722). There is the existence of a strong genetic component in overweight children. However, the increasing prevalence of obesity is attributed to the environmental factors that promote expression and excessive caloric intake and decreased physical activity.
Unfortunately, most parents, who need to play an important role in guiding and controlling school-aged children, live a sedentary lifestyle. They fail to control what their children eat, encourage them to exercise, and help them not to eat under stress and anxiety (Wrotniak et al. 1089–1096).
Considering these circumstances, it is clear that the attitude of parents plays a major role. Indeed, other than the genetic, endocrine, or neurological factors that can lead to obesity there are many environmental factors that may predispose a child to suffer from this disease. Moreover, family socioeconomic status and educational level of parents matter towards habits and customs within the home that children later follow.
There are several dangers involved for children with the growing trend of obesity. First, obesity may lead to severe physical problems including diabetes type II, hypertension, triglycerides and cholesterol and psychological issues such as low self-esteem and social stigma (Faith et al. 1711–1722).
The question is simple, but the answer generates excessive debate. What is the cause of this epidemic? It is a reality that there is no single key factor, which causes this issue, but largely change requires a thorough review of habits, knowledge, and understanding by parents and teachers.
With this notion in mind, I plan to research about parents residing in the US to unravel their perceptions of the phenomenon of obesity and what role they can play to solve this growing concern. However, an important factor, which my study will cover, is to test how often parents let their school-aged child do what they want and fail to discuss the negative aspects of excessive eating.
Moreover, in my study, I will identify significant health risk factors which are caused by obesity (Johannsen et al. 431–439).
Question: Does parenting actions play an important role in growing obesity amongst school-aged children than other factors?
Hypothesis: Parent behavior plays a much more important role in increasing school-aged children obesity than any other factor causing obesity in children.
Population: School Aged Children
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Cause: Parenting behavior supporting obesity
Effect: Reduced obesity amongst school-aged children
|Supportive parenting behavior||Reduced Obesity amongst school-aged children||Reduced Obesity amongst school-aged children|
Faith, M., et al. “Parent-Child Feeding Strategies and Their relationships to Child Eating and Weight Status.” Obesity Research 12.11 (2004): 1711–1722. Print.
Faith, M., K. Scanlon, L. Birch and L. A. Francis. “Parent-Child Feeding Strategies and Their relationships to Child Eating and Weight Status.” Obesity Research 12.11 (2004): 1711–1722. Print.
Johannsen, D., N. Johannsen and B. Specke. “Influence of Parents’ Eating Behaviors and Child Feeding Practices on Children’s Weight Status.” Obesity: Research Journal 14.3 (2006): 431–439. Print.
Wolfenden, Luke L., C. Bell, J. Wiggers, M. Butler, E. James and K. Chipperfield. “Engaging parents in child obesity prevention: Support preferences of parents.” Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health 48.2 (2012): 4-6. Print.
Wrotniak, B., L. Epstein, R. Paluch and J. Roemmich. “The Relationship between Parent and Child self-Reported Adherence and Weight Loss.” Obesity Research 13.6 (2005): 1089–1096. Print.