In 2015, 15% of children between the ages of 2 to 15, in Scotland, were at risk of obesity, in relation to their Body Mass Index (Scottish Health Survey, 2015). For children, the BMI ranges changes as they grow and get older, as well as being dependent on gender. For example, if a 12 year old boy and a 9 year old boy have the same BMI, and the 12 year old is classed as healthy, it doesn’t mean that subsequently the 9 year old is healthy too. It can, in fact, allude that the younger boy is overweight. Obesity in childhood can lead to a plethora of health issues in later life, and the children are more likely to be obese or overweight in adulthood. The World Health Organisation identified some of the future health outcomes of being obese in childhood. These include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis, and in the worst case; death. WHO has estimated that, globally, over two million people die annually from health problems associated with being obese or overweight (WHO, 2016). There are several contributing factors to a child’s weight, including; parental weight and activity level, geographical location and deprivation.
There have been studies conducted to find out what has caused or what the leading factors to obesity are. Researchers are currently still doing research to find out what causes or what may be the lead to obesity. Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition which considers a child to be obese if their Body Mass Index (BMI) is at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. (Rendall., Weden, Lau, Brownell, Nazarov & Fernandes, 2014). Obesity is on a rise in the Unites States and all over the world and can lead or result to other health complications later in life. The crucial breakdown serves as an implication of outlining childhood obesity, collaborating problems of the disease and resolutions, as well as applying critical thinking to give a complete approach to deliver information on childhood obesity. This will be done through citation of scholarly articles, samples and other modes of supporting details.
Research has shown an ethnic and racial disparity in the frequency of childhood overweight and obesity. Specifically, minority children face a disproportionately higher chance of obesity; Taveras, Gillman, Kleinman, Rich-Edwards, and Rifas-Shiman agree: “…many risk factors for child obesity are more prevalent among black and Hispanic children than among white children (p. 693). ” They go on to write that additional variables affecting those two minority groups include belonging to a lower socioeconomic class, sleeping less than their white counterparts, and a greater likelihood of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages and fast food after age two .
Eating a well balanced meal is crucial for someone in their early childhood stage. During this time period, between the ages of two and six, a well-nourished child can grow up to three inches and gain up to four and a half pounds per year (Berger, 2010). Children at this age also need fewer calories per pound of body weight than infants do. Since children need less food than they did before and many do not diminish the intake of their food consumed, obesity becomes a problem. The article “Child and adolescent obesity: a part of a bigger picture” states, “The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has risen substantially worldwide in less than one generation” (Lobstein, 2015). Obesity is a main factor that is present and can lead to other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The article also states that, “The food industry has a special interest in targeting children. Not only can the companies influence children’s immediate dietary preferences, but they can also benefit from building taste preferences and brand loyalty early in life, which last into adulthood” (Lobstein, 2015). Once children are hooked on the foods they eat during their childhood, they tend to follow those habits as they grow up. Children in low-income families are vulnerable to obesity because they rely on cheap fast food.
“During the past two decades, the prevalence of obesity in children has risen greatly worldwide. Obesity in childhood causes a wide range of serious complications, and increases the risk of premature illness and death later in life, raising public-health concerns.” (Ebbeling, Pawlak & Ludwig, 2002 p.471) Currently in the Australian community and schools there is an obesity epidemic in young people with many children doing less and less physical activity then advised. “In 2007-08 the National health survey, run by the Australian Government indicated that 24.9% of children aged 5-17 years old were either overweight or obese” (Healthy Active, 2009). These figures show that children are not being properly educated about healthy
Childhood obesity is an alarming issue in Australia, and there is not only a rapid national epidemic in Australia and around the world. Obese children are likely to develop detrimental problems in their health and have enduring social, health and economic effects that permeate throughout adulthood. Early detection and management of childhood obesity are critical in preventing obesity during adulthood, considering it is a significant contributor to the adulthood epidemic. Thus, there are several social determinants of health that directly impact childhood obesity. It is crucial to understand the link between social determinants of health and childhood obesity to gather appropriate intervention and prevention ways to decrease the detrimental
Public health issue refers to a health issue that affects the populations as a whole and its financial burden to the society. Childhood obesity is a major public health issue that has impacted the public population health and the cost to prevent and control it. The primary concern deals with obese children growing into obese adults in the future posing an increase in health care cost to obese related health conditions. Strongly linked to mortality and morbidity in adulthood, childhood obesity can cause low self-esteem, eating disorders, negative body image, asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular health factors and decreasing the quality of life (Thorpe, et al., 2004). Social determinants of health impact the risk behaviors of childhood obesity from diet and built environment. At the family level, examples of both determinants can be seen in changes to family structures, socioeconomic status, and perceptions and attitudes toward health and nutrition. Children spend most of their time in a school setting, so school setting changes have been made to nutritional and physical activity policy, physical education equipment, and the sales if unhealthy food and drinks.
According to the Australian institute of health and welfare ‘Good health is an important element in a child’s quality of life as it can influence participation in many aspects of the life, including school and physical education’. A poor start to a child’s life increases the outcome to a poor adult life, with 24.9% of children aged from 5-17years already overweight or obese. These statistics are based on The International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), who have developed a standard age and sex-specific Body Mass Index (BMI) cut off point. Australian children are consuming less nutritional food, and instead eating more food and drinks that fall under the ‘red food’ category and foods that are not advised for daily intake on the Australian
Due to the rapid increase in childhood weight gain, the threat of obesity to our health, environment, and economy is enormous. According to the Economic Cost of Obesity, “The estimated annual health care costs of obesity – related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly twenty-one percent of annual medical spending in the United States. Childhood obesity alone is responsible for fourteen billion in direct medical costs." (Economic Costs of Obesity 4) Obese kids tend to become obese adults. According to Alliance for a Healthier generation, one in three children (2-19 years) in the United States is overweight or obese. There is evidence that a child’s environment has a great impact on childhood obesity. Children are being raised
As a nation, childhood obesity has tripled in the past fifty years in younger children and adolescents (American Heart Association, 2016). Too many of our youth are overweight or obese. “Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat” (CDC, 2015). Being overweight or obese means there is a caloric imbalance. A caloric imbalance is when too few calories are disbursed for the amount consumed (Annigan). The children can be affected by various genetic, behavioral, and
A geographical perspective can facilitate better understanding of how everyday lived environments are complicit in producing higher rates of obesity and its associated diseases among New Zealanders, particularly in children. Childhood obesity is widely regarded as a significant health concern in New Zealand (NZ), owing to its growing national prevalence, its links to long term ill-health, and high economic burden on the health system. A socio-ecological model can be used to demonstrate how environments, ranging from individual to societal, influence personal behaviours, everyday lifestyle choices and eating patterns that contribute to an increased likelihood of a child being or becoming obese. The socio-ecological model recognises that cultural and societal norms which promote personal responsibility for obesity influences legislative action and more importantly, in-action around excessive unhealthy food availability and marketing. Consequently, the everyday lived environments of children are largely ‘obesogenic’. Specifically, the neighbourhood, school, and home environment will be examined, looking at how they interact with individuals to shape food consumption and physical activity behaviours, the major factors linked to childhood obesity.
It’s a scary feeling when climbing a simple flight of stairs only to reach the top and be completely out of breath. In America today this is the reality that many children face. Obesity has become an epidemic in our world, it has many contributing factors, affects learning abilities but there are preventive methods for it. Although little is being done about obesity, it's affecting the lives of many but mostly children and by a multitude of different factors.
Childhood obesity has increased drastically over the past years and has become a high health risk to children. In fact, childhood obesity has doubled in numbers in the past thirty years (Childhood Obesity Facts). Obesity occurs when an individual becomes overweight and doctor’s diagnose a patient by using the body mass index or BMI scale. Obesity causes many diseases in children which cannot be cured without a doctor, in result, childhood obesity drives high health care costs. Since little effort has been put forward to prevent childhood obesity the existence of this disease has begun to skyrocket in numbers. The number of children who suffer from obesity have greatly increased over the years so, people have to come up with a solution to prevent obesity. However, it will take more than just one solution to prevent childhood obesity, it will take many. Without the prevention of obesity future generations could be in serious trouble with health issues. Childhood obesity should be prevented by showing the youth that healthy will benefit them in life, therefore, parents start by guiding children in the correct direction with their eating habits, limit their fast food intake, and fight the market for unhealthy foods so that children are not exposed to unhealthy options.
The fast-paced lifestyle of Americans today results in unhealthy frozen T.V. dinners and take-out meals. In present day society, the role of woman and men are virtually equal. With this making both the mother and father of families busy, there is little time for home cooked meals. A hardy breakfast is replaced with sugary pop-tarts, hand packed lunches is replaced with money for fast food, and frozen T.V. trays take the place of a healthy dinner. These foods may all taste good, but they are not healthy. By giving children lunch money, the children are having the choice to buy whatever foods they please. It could be easily assumed that a child would choose a candy bar, chips, and a soda over a school lunch. Again, the children are not the only ones to be blamed here. The parents need to take time to guide their children towards what food is healthy and what food is unhealthy. By taking a little more time out of the day and making healthier food choices, the rate of childhood obesity could slow down, if not stop altogether.