Childhood Obesity

Over the years, the number of obese children has increased globally. This has been attributed to several reasons including genetics, the behavior of the children, and their families. At the middle of childhood obesity has been the eating habits that these children have been brought up within their families, leading to high numbers of obese children. Obesity in children is a huge concern due to the effects that it can have on the children. My interest in this area has been motivated by the fact that in most cases, children cannot be able to control what they eat or the situations around them hence becoming obese has not been a choice to these children. In most cases, the lifestyles that different families give to their children are what causes obesity in these children. This essay describes childhood obesity, gives reasons why I chose this area and outlines childhood obesity as a global health issue.

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Contrary to the opinion that obesity is about how people look, obesity is a medical term. People who are not fat can also be obese depending on their BMI ratio. Therefore, obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates in the body resulting in different effects on the health of the individual including reduced life expectancy and other health related problems. Traditionally, a fat child meant a healthy child. This notion was acceptable especially due to the different calamities that affected societies then such as drought and diseases. This notion showed a child who would most likely survive any infection and be undernourished. Flashing forward to today’s society where there is improved healthcare, such a notion should be completely avoided since the world is better equipped to fight with these calamities if they happen. Additionally, people have a better understanding that being fat does not necessarily mean that one is healthy.

One of the reasons that motivated me to choose childhood obesity is the prevalence of the problem in today’s society. Childhood obesity is being discussed in all forms of media today, whether on the internet, on the television or newspapers. The rise in obesity has not been due to gene susceptibility but as a result of excess sugar intake and the lack of physical activities. Looking at today’s lifestyles taken by children and adolescents, one can be able to see the root problem to obesity. In the past years, children went to play outside with each other, and this form of exercise enabled them to lose some of the fat that had been stored in their bodies. Today’s generation do much of the playing and recreational activities in their houses in the form of playing video games or watching television. These forms of play while eating excess foods causes excess fats to accumulate leading to obesity. Another reason that motivated me to study childhood obesity is the fact that children cannot be able to tackle obesity on their own and it is the lifestyle that they were introduced to that has caused obesity. When it comes to childhood obesity, children are somewhat innocent. The lifestyles that their parents or guardians introduced them to is what has caused them to become obese. Additionally, the children cannot be able to tackle obesity on their own. Parents and guardians are the ones tasked with ensuring that the children develop healthy habits. To do this the parents and guardians need to be made aware of the effects that being obese has to the children. By creating awareness to the parents, I can make a difference in regards to obesity since in most cases children who are usually obese end up becoming obese adults.

Obesity in children has become a global issue. According to Deckelbaum and Williams, close to 22 million children under the age of five years by 2001 were obese. Since then, the trend has continued to grow significantly. Karnik & Kanekar show that children obesity has been ranked as the number one problem facing children today. The increased obesity in children is set to trickle down to morbidity and mortality implications in the adult life of the child in question. Several factors have been attributed to this upward trend in childhood obesity. These factors can be broadly categorized into three main categories genetical factors, behavioral factors, and environmental factors. Genetical factors are the genetic factors that cause children to be susceptible to obesity. These factors affect the body’s metabolism by transforming how the body takes in fat and burns it, as well as its fat content. Genetic factors are inherited from parents. The behavioral factors refer to the lifestyle that these children are living and represents the greatest reason why children develop obesity. At times, children consume more energy than they can use. The excess energy is stored in the body in the form of fat causing obesity. The kinds of foods that children take matter. By taking foods that have high sugar levels and are energy-rich foods, then this leads to excess sugar and energy in the body. Not taking part in physical activities also causes obesity. Today, few children are involved in physical activities hence calories in their bodies are not well utilized leading to obesity. Lastly, environmental factors refer to the issues that surround the children either at home or in school. Inaccessibility to healthy foods can cause obesity as well as the lack of parks for children to play.

Obesity in children has several effects. Psychologically, obese children have a low self-esteem. These children can get depressed due to the size of their bodies. Additionally, they may also feel stigmatized and discriminated hence eventually having a toll on their academic performance. Childhood obesity is also associated with different health risks. Obesity in children can cause different health-related issues including hypertension, the risk of blood clots, chronic inflammation, as well as insulin resistance syndrome. Due to the high amounts of fat in the body, children can also have breathing-related problems such as asthma. Physical effects related to obesity include muscle and bone disorders due to the increased weight.

To solve this global problem, several inventions can be made. First, families need to take on healthy lifestyles and habits including taking part in physical activities as well as consuming foods that are considered healthy. Additionally, since most children spend most of their time in school, schools play a huge role in preventing obesity in children. They can develop policies and practices that create an environment that supports healthy behavior while teaching students about physical activities and healthy eating.

In conclusion, childhood obesity has grown to become a global health issue. Obesity in children if not checked in what grows to become adolescent obesity. As a result, the issue should be studied, and several preventative measures are applied. It is important for parents to be sensitized on the importance of having healthy children by walking them through the effects that obesity in children can have. Increasing awareness means that parents and guardians understand the need for physical activities and healthy eating by the children. Additionally, schools should offer a conducive environment for the children that supports healthy habits by the children as well as make them stakeholders in their health.

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