Childhood obesity is considered as one of the top ten global health issues, due to the fact that childhood obesity prevalence is on a dramatic increase. Basically, the short-term problems of childhood obesity include respiratory morbidities and elevated cardiovascular risk factors.
According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health” (WHO, Para. 1). Hills, King and Byrne are on the view that the World Health Organization define overweight adults as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25kg/m2 or more and obese adults as having a body mass index of 30kg/m2 or more (Hills, King, and Byrne 11).
Although there is less research on long-term health consequences of childhood obesity, evidence has shown that abnormalities attained at childhood level result in cardiovascular consequences at the on-set of adult obesity. In summation of the researches conducted, it has been found that over weight adolescents and children have a likelihood of attaining several heart disease risk factors and adult morbidities e.g. cardiovascular diseases (Hills, King, and Byrne 20). Nevertheless, obese children often suffer from diseases and develop depression.
Aetiology of obesity
Factors like diet, physical activity, and metabolic status are some of the major environmental factors that contribute to obesity, which are said to be a genetic trait influence (Hills, King, and Byrne 2).
Diet: High fat and refined foods have been identified as major contributors to the obesity condition. In North America and Europe, it has been noted that fat and simple sugars account for more than half consumption and energy intake of refined grain that has replaced whole grains (Hills, King, and Byrne 2).
Physical activity: physical activity among the youth has notably decline in recent decades. In addition, it is suggested that corresponding prevalence increase in obesity is the direct result of decline in physical activity (Hills, King, and Byrne 2).
Consequences of obesity
Depression: Evidence has shown that obesity is linked to mood disorders, low-self esteem, and depression in children. However, this relation is neither simple nor consistent due to variations noted in age, family context, gender, and duration of obesity (Davies, Fitzgerald, and Mousouli 73).
It is believed that obese children undergo social stigmatization caused by their body weight, leading to the children being dissatisfied with the image of their body hence causing depression and low self-esteem (Davies, Fitzgerald, and Mousouli 74).
According to Martin, Volkmar, and Lewis (608), depressive symptoms have been noted in later childhood obesity. In spite of results and design of these studies differing, the linkage findings on depression to subsequent weight increase are consistent. Moreover, causality has been implied by the fact that the length of time o0f depression between the adulthood and childhood is a predictor of body mass index. It has also been found that the high rates of obesity can be reduced by treatment of depression in children successfully (Martin, Volkmar, and Lewis 608).
Development of diseases: Obesity documentation shows that some of the diseases that one is likely to attain because of obesity are hypertension, dyslipidaemia, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. In addition, short-term consequences related to childhood obesity include respiratory morbidities and cardiovascular risk factors. These cardiovascular risk factors that characterize obesity at adulthood are due to abnormalities at childhood. Moreover, studies have also indicated that obese children have a high risk of getting various coronary heart disease risk factors and different comorbidities (Hills, King, and Byrne 20).
Obesity is a health problem that has been categorized as a top 10-health issue by the world health organization. The obesity condition has been noted to be rapidly increasing globally at high rates, with eating habits, metabolic status, and physical activity being some of the causes that contribute to obesity. Moreover, an obese child can be assisted by successfully tackling issues like depression that an obese child has.
Davie Dale and Fitzgerald Hiram, Mousouli Vasiliki. Obesityin childhood and adolescent: Understanding development and prevention. British library. 2008. Web.
Hills Andrew, King Neil and Byrne M. Nuala. Children, obesity and exercise: prevention treatment and management of childhood adolescent obesity. NY, Routledge. 2007. Web.
Martin, Andres, Volkmar, Fred and Lewis Melvin. Lewis’s child and adolescent psychiatry: a comprehensive textbook. PA, pine tree composition. 2007. Web.
WHO. “Obesity.” Obesity. 2010. Web.