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Obesity in Children and Preventive Measures Essay

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Updated: Dec 30th, 2020

Obesity is one of the most prevalent types of diseases that affect the majority of the population worldwide. The occurrence of the disease has increased over the last decades in the third-world as well as developed countries. The disease has been considered in the health sector as one of the essential health epidemics in the current times. However, the disease is preventable like any other disease. Childhood obesity is considered to be one of the causes of chronic conditions when an individual reaches the adult stage.

These chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases are most likely to affect overweight children. This may continue through to adulthood unless prevented. The disease has caused an increase in the ratio of deaths to particular populations in given areas (Dehghan et al., 2008).

Changes in nutrition and lifestyles in both developed and developing countries are essential for preventing obesity, even though some causes are linked to genetic and environmental factors. This mostly depends on these countries’ economic development, which influences the kind of food and lifestyle adopted. However, the increasing trend of the disease leaves the health sector with lots of questions on whether the health intervention methods they are using are capable of controlling the situation (Dietz and Gortmaker, 1985). Obesity is considered the current problem since its existence was never noted a hundred years ago.

The causes are mainly linked to a rise in convenience foods, luxurious lifestyles, and an increase in sedentary jobs. The mechanism of its development is believed to have a connection with several body disorders. Most of the causes are linked to the rise in food with high calorific value and fat content. An increase in sugar intake and reduced frequency in performing physical exercises increase the chances of obesity.

One of the key strategies that could be used is the preventive measures, which can be categorized as primary and secondary preventive measures (Wolf, 1985). Most of these measures focus on changing individual diets and getting involved in vigorous exercises. These measures have been noted to have little impact on the rise of obesity among children and adults in most countries. The increase in weight is difficult to control in adults as revealed by health research sources; this is because the disease is considered established in adult life (Dehghan et al., 2008).

Therefore, this suggests that most preventive measures should be focused on children by building appropriate conditions in specific environments. These may include learning institutions. These settings could be used to influence eating habits and physical activities amongst the children. Healthier choices should be made more available and easily accessible to the population (Dietz, 1983). Obesity has a significant effect on an individual’s psychological health; this is in addition to physical health.

This paper aims to analyze the rise in obesity amongst children, which has been discovered to lead to psychological disorders such as depression. Obese children are more prone to digestive and cardiovascular diseases when they reach adulthood stage. The increase in the consumption of carbonated drinks should be checked in both developed and developing countries. The governments should, however, encourage the consumption of more beverage milk since it results in a low intake of total energy as compared to soft drinks. This calls for a very urgent need by the governments and health sectors to come up with prevention and treatment of obesity in individuals, especially in children. Research has revealed that more girls are prone to obesity than boys (Gortmaker et al., 1987).

Reference

Dehghan, M., Danesh, N. A., & Merchant, A.T. (2008). Childhood obesity, Prevalence and prevention, Nutrition Journal, 4, 24

Dietz, W. H., & Gortmaker, S. L. (1985). Do we fatten our Children at the Television Set? Obesity and Television Viewing in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics, 75, 5, 807-812.

Dietz, W. H. (1983). Childhood obesity: Susceptibility, cause, and management. Journal of Pediatrics, 103, 5, 676-686.

Gortmaker, S. L., Dietz, W. H., Sobol, A. M., & Wehler, C. A. (1987). Increasing Pediatric Obesity in the United States. American Journal of Diseases of Children, 141, 535-540.

Wolf, M. C., Cohen, K. R., & Rosenfeld, J. G. (1985). School-based Interventions for Obesity: Current Approaches and Future Prospects. Psychology in the Schools, 22, 187-200.

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