Childhood Obesity: Causes and Effects | Free Essay Example

Childhood Obesity: Causes and Effects

Words: 904
Topic: Diet & Nutrition
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Introduction

Children obesity is an acute problem that is frequently met in the modern society. An unhealthy diet and the abundance of the junk food in the children’s menu leads to their gaining weight rapidly (Scherer, 2011). In order to address this problem properly, it is essential to examine its roots as well as to identify the ways of performing a positive change. A particular focus of the paper will be put on determining the ways school menus can be improved as the major part of children meals is consumed at school.

Causes

This disorder is brought about with varied combination of factors. First and foremost, it can be retrieved hereditary from the parents (Haerens, 2012). Family environment and genetics may influence a child’s condition largely in terms of obesity. Childhood obesity is a result of intertwine between environmental factors and genetics. The possession of two similar samples of alleles also recognized as FTO increases largely the risks of obesity.

There is a strong probability that parents’ obesity will be further transmitted to their children (Haerens, 2012). Other factors contributing to this condition is the lack of exercise, the child’s body type, psychological issues and unhealthy eating habits. The consumption of large quantities of junk food may likewise contribute to the development of obesity because most of the junk food always contains a large scope of calories and cholesterol (Scherer, 2011).

Most of the obese children from African and Hispanic communities lack exercise as their parents do not let them go outside in the fear of the dangers their children are always exposed to in the streets. It would be unfair to claim that these fears are ungrounded – these areas show high risks of being kidnapped by gangs as well as being abused sexually or hooked on drugs. Another factor that contributes to the increase in children’s obesity is the development of technologies (Haerens, 2012). Hence, the variety of the online games prevents children from going outside. In fact, they no more experience the need for live communication as their gadgets enable them to maintain virtual contacts. As a result, the physical activity of the modern children is evidently insufficient.

Family practices are another serious factor that leads to obesity in children (Haerens, 2012). Most mothers in these days do not exclusively breastfeed infants and introduce them to formulas very early. Parents are too concerned about their children’s safety. As a result, they prefer their children travelling by bus whatever short the destination (Scherer, 2011). The excessive care prevents children from the natural development, making them more exposed to the development of obesity (Haerens, 2012).

Another critical scope of factors is psychological triggers. Thus, psychological factors that lead to obesity include stress and anxiety (Koplan, Liverman & Kraak, 2007). Some people tend to overeat when being stressed or upset, and children are not an exception. When exposed to stress they tend to eat a lot to reduce stress hence their bodies absorb an excessive amount of energy which is further stored – as a result, a child is getting gradually obese (Scherer, 2011).

Related Effects

Obesity implies a series of associated effects. Some of the effects might reside in such health disorders as high blood pressure, strokes, heart diseases and even diabetes 2 (Haerens, 2012). These diseases reduce the children’s life span to five years. In most cases, children with obesity turn into obese adults in future. As long as children are always extra big physically, they tend to have low self-esteem and are commonly discriminated by other children (Haerens, 2012).

As a consequence, children get depressed because they see assume themselves to be different from other children and they are also teased by their classmates (Haerens, 2012). It is also empirically proved that children with obesity tend to age faster because of the distorted balance. In addition, they are more likely to have skin related diseases and get infected easily. Finally, it is the market policy that contributes to the growth of obese children. Hence, the availability of cheap foods in the market prompts families to compose unhealthy menus (Scherer, 2011).

Obesity Control

Obesity can be controlled by changing unhealthy eating patterns into the healthy habits (Haerens, 2012). This can be done by eating balanced diet foods and reducing the number of the unhealthy products consumed. Exercise also help to reduce the excessive weight as they assist individuals in burning out the extra fats in their bodies (Haerens, 2012). Those children who are obese due to their genetics should also seek medical attention so that they can learn which type of obesity they have and what kind of lifestyle they should adopt.

Parents should be consulted on exclusive breastfeeding of their babies up to six months to eliminate any chances of children getting obese from the early childhood (Haerens, 2012). These formulas have a lot of chemicals and introducing babies to them does not only expose them to the risk of being obese but also implies other diseases.

At school, playgrounds should be made available for children to play. In addition, teachers should encourage children to perform some physical activity during the breaks. Most importantly, school caterers should focus on composing healthy menus rather than providing the largest quantities of food at the lowest price possible. It is assumed that the problem of childhood obesity should be treated complexly. Otherwise stated, both families and school staff should be involved in resolving it.

References

Haerens, M. (2012). Obesity. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Koplan, J., Liverman, C., & Kraak, V. (2007). Preventing childhood obesity. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Scherer, L. (2011). Obesity. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.