Literature Review on Childhood Obesity Essay

1850 Words Jan 20th, 2008 8 Pages
Literature Review on Childhood Obesity

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Obesity is a growing problem among U.S. children. In 1994, one in five children between the ages of 6 and 17 was overweight. This is double the rate of 30 years ago (National Center for Health Statistics, 1999). This adverse trend has potentially profound effects on children's health, including their long-term health. The terms "obese" and "overweight" often are used interchangeably. Technically, "obesity" is the upper end of "overweight." Obesity is clinically diagnosed as: greater than 90th percentile for weight for height; or greater than or equal to the 95th percentile Body Mass Index (BMI), age and sex specific. The gold standard is becoming the BMI, since this is also used for
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Researches studies differ on whether obese consume more energy (calories) than non-obese individuals. Some show they do consume more; others show they may consumer fewer calories. The big difference may be in the type of nutrients that they consume, such as fat. For example, Gazzaniga, found that the percentage of body fat was positively correlated with total dietary fat. Still, other researchers suggest that the reasons are metabolic in origin and that obese individuals "process" foods differently resulting in an increase in body fat. Although how these factors affect obesity are not fully understood, one thing is clear: Obesity results when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure and is stored as fat.
Ellyn Satter (1987), author of Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, firmly believes in the importance of "the feeding relationship" and its implications for obesity. The feeding relationship is the interaction that takes place between parents and children around food. Obese children need to learn to listen to their internal cues of hunger and appetite. Parents and childcare providers must help them do so. This includes encouraging children to eat according to these cues, while acknowledging the emotional aspect of feeding and eating. A restrictive diet may make the child feel deprived and neglected, and exacerbate the overeating problem.
Children and adolescents who watched the most TV were more obese than…

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