In as much as the medical sector has continued to emphasize healthy lifestyles to reduce obesity, the need for more research in this area has become more eminent.
The Idea of Child Obesity
The United States has been ranked atop as having issues with the obesity world over. This statement of fact is equally true for children as a reasonable number of persons in the States under the age of 18 are obsessed. This worrisome health hazard continues to attract suggestions and models from healthcare providers targeted at having a turnaround. Statistically, over 20,000, 000 children in the United States (especially within the age brackets of 5 to 16) have been reported by the World Health Organization to be affected by obesity. Studies have reviewed that obesity in children since the past three decades has been rapidly increasing, perhaps tripling each of the decades that pass. In as much as the medical sector has continued to emphasize healthy lifestyles to reduce obesity, the need for more research in this area has become more eminent.
This paper presents research works on the realities of child obesity, its effects on American society and the best measures for control. The studies draw along extracts from healthcare, social effects, as well as family-based issues that support and encourage the threat.
Factors Responsible for Child Obesity in the United States
Lately, child obesity seems to grasp the whole world, and the United States stands on top of the scenario. Obesity entails a situation whereby one is overweight; this does not necessarily foretell a protruding belly, but a general increment in the body mass. It could result in very harmful cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in most instances which could subsequently result in a loss of life of the affected individual. Medically, obesity is said to be inclined to unhealthy habits such as poor dieting rather than to one’s genetic composition (Kersh and Morone 21).
This view, however, contradicts several persons, especially when the obsessed individual has parents who suffered from obesity. Levine and Florence (9) conducted studies to ascertain the relationship between obesity and heredity and noticed that often times than not, obsessed children take the same kinds of food as their obsessed parents and are likely to add weight in the same way as their parents do. With a shape change in family dieting, both parents and children are certain to have an obesity shift. Dieting, therefore, is a leading factor that causes obesity in a child.
Child obesity is equally not inclined to racial definition as both black and white kids, female and male have been known to be affected significantly.
Having established that obesity is primarily caused by unhealthy intake of food; Christakis and Fowler (52) sort out to find the reasons why parents in a country with a high education level such as the US allow their children to partake in poor eating habits. They realized that most parents, though educated, prefer that their children take junk food since parents can rarely have time to always prepare balanced diets in the house for a lack of time.
Most times, these junk foods are procured and kept in the house where children can always get them when hungry and, often than not, they are sugar or fat-rich. Fizzy drinks rank top as causing obesity, as well. Promotional acts such as when children are allowed to watch food company promos that capitalize on junk food intake have been known to encourage uncultured food intake and by extension obesity.
Health lifestyles in children are threatened by the introduction of sedentary activities such as internet chatting, computer games, TV and the likes which do not encourage one to be physically active. To reinforce physical activities in children, schools and the government may take more pronounced positions to emphasize exercises for children and, indeed, adults across America. These exercises do not have to necessarily be strenuous.
Somehow, obesity, both in children and adults, is a lifestyle-driven rather than hereditary. Once a child begins to imbibe an active lifestyle and takes the right food at the right times, incidences of childhood obesity will be significantly reduced across the United States.
Calorie intake in children must also be watched to forestall taking of sugary, high starchy and very fatty foods such as creams and burgers. The consumption of vegetables and fruits has to be advocated for as homes need to use them more often.
Taking control over a child’s eating habits may only be said to be a part of the achievement as the child has to be encouraged to become proactive in a healthy eating habit that will prevent obesity. The child must be aware that taking foods without caution can be detrimental to their health. Parents must be conscious of the fact that the kind of food taken by a child has a way of affecting the future either positively or negatively.
Role of Parents in Control Child Obesity
Andreasen (107) has described the role which parents play in curtailing obesity through food intake control as very crucial for sustained health. If for no other reason, the fact that approximately 15% of the US children population is obsessed is enough to urge parents to stand to the challenges of ensuring appropriate food intake for maximal health benefits. One thing that parents must know and take seriously to obsessed children is that there is a high probability for obsessed children to grow up into obsessed adults if the situation is not appropriately checked. Parents of obsessed children can take a step ahead to ensure better health for their children by exposing the children to exercises such as swimming or perhaps dancing.
Other Control Measures for Child Obesity in the United States
The need for controlling child obesity has been emphasized by several scholars (Cavadini et. al 971, Monsivais et. al 433). This could be accounted for by the several harmful effects which it leaves the child with, including having an elevation in blood lipids, having a projected sensitivity of insulin, amongst several others. It is supposed that a child whose body weight is beyond the ninth percentile stands a high risk of having elevated blood-cholesterol levels.
The fact that a majority of homes in the US do not have adequate time to have their meals at one table has also contributed to human resources. When the family eats together, it will be easier for parents to question the kind of food that their children take. Research conducted by Cutler et. al (78) identifies that children who are privileged to dine with their parents do have a more acceptable diet. When a child is left alone to become decisive in what meal they have, it is certain that they can prefer fatty and sugary food.
Andreasen, Alan R. Marketing Social Change: Changing Behavior to Promote Health, Social Development, and the Environment. San Francisco: Journey-Bass, 1995. Print.
Cavadini, Claude, Anna Siega-Riz, and Barry Popkin. “US adolescent food intake trends from 1965 to 1996.” Archives of Disease in Childhood. 83. 1 (2000): 18-24. Print.
Christakis, Nicholas, and James Fowler. “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years.” New England Journal of Medicine. 357.4: (2007). Print.
Cutler, David, Edward Glaeser, and Jesse Shapiro. Why Have Americans Become More Obese? Boston: Harvard UP, 2003. Print.
Kersh, Roger, and James Morone. “Obesity, Courts, and the New Politics of Public Health.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. 30.5 (2005): 839-864. Print.
Levine, Michael, and Jennifer Lawrence. “Regulatory Capture, Public Interest, and the Public Agenda: Toward a Synthesis.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. 6. (1990): 167-198.
Monsivais, Pablo, and Adam Drewnowski. “The Rising Cost of Low-Energy-Density Foods.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 107. 12 (2007): 2071-2076. Print.