Effects of Obesity on the Motor Development of Children Essay

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Obesity in the United States has become an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), one out of every three people in the United States are now overweight or obese. Additionally, one out of every three children between the ages of 10 and 17 are not at a healthy weight (CDC, 2010). America is officially the fattest country in the world, topping Mexico and the United Kingdom by more than six percent of the population (CDC, 2010). These frightening statistics have many consequences for American citizens, especially the youth. This paper will explore the effects of childhood obesity on motor development, as well as ways in which motor development can be influenced to lower the obesity rate in children.…show more content…
One must understand what motor development is in order to comprehend how overweight and obesity are involved. Obesity and overweight are categories of the human body type that are based on what is considered a “healthy” weight. This standard is established using the body mass index (BMI), which can be calculated using height and weight to estimate how much of a person’s weight comes from body fat. A healthy individual’s BMI is between 19 and 25 (CDC, 2010). A person with a BMI above 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is obese (CDC, 2010). Overweight and obesity are linked with motor development through Newell’s Model of Constraints, which includes individual, environmental, and task constraints. According to Newell’s model, a person’s weight is a structural individual constraint that could affect a person’s performance on a task (Payne & Isaacs, 2008). Although weight is a structural constraint that may influence performance, it does not necessarily affect the development of motor skills. Supporting Research Research has shown that there is a direct link between overweight and motor development in infants. For example, in 2010, Slining, Adair, Goldman, Borja, and Bentley found that overweight and obese infants exhibited a lower level of motor development than their healthy weight counterparts. More
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