Obesity in adults (particularly parents) is not only likely to have an impact on them but also sways the possibility of obesity in their children due to common genes or environmental aspects (Simmonds, Llewellyn, Owen, & Woolacott, 2016). The perception that obesity runs in the family has been backed by Simmonds et al. (2016) and other studies present a proof that parental obesity is a considerable risk aspect for obesity in their children. Facts from researches indicate that maternal Body Mass Index (BMI), particularly, was a considerable predictor of BMI in children from six to thirteen years of age.
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After attaining the age of six, the possibility of the child turning into an obese adult in later life exceeds 50% in obese children when judged against approximately 10% for non-obese children (Simmonds et al., 2016). The risk for obesity in adulthood was considerably high when either the father or mother of the child was obese (Simmonds et al., 2016). This illustrates that parental obesity increases the risk of childhood obesity and obesity in later life of their children. Obesity signifies a risk aspect for related co-morbidities, for instance, type II diabetes, heart diseases, and other illnesses (Simmonds et al., 2016).
Similar to Simmonds et al. (2016), Bouret, Levin, and Ozanne (2015) established that both genetic and nongenetic impacts lead to the parental transmission of obesity to their children with environmental determinants like the feeding practices of adults in addition to the development of eating habits and lifestyle perpetuating obesity. Parental consumption patterns could as well alter genetic inclinations to preferring or disliking some foods and assist in shaping food tastes in children.
Factors like too much time watching TV, spending most of the free time each day playing computer games, and lack of physical activity among others are some causes of obesity. On the contrary, Nguyen, Shuval, Bertmann, and Yaroch (2015) affirm that early initiation to healthy food and habits has the capacity to determine proper consumption patterns and alter genetic inclinations as well (for example, neophobia, the fear of consuming new kinds of foods), which could translate to positive food intake approaches.
The means of avoiding obesity among children and the adult population encompass changes in the nutritional habits at home to ensure consumption of healthy foods (Nguyen et al., 2015). The evaluation of childhood obesity is hard since children develop in irregular intervals. The assessment can only be effectively conducted by a health care expert with the use of the height and weight of the child in relation to the child’s earlier growth account.
The loss of weight for the majority of young adults is a negative pointer because their bodies are maturing and developing; similarly, overweight is a bad indicator. However, overweight people must not be put on diet except when a doctor directs so for health purposes. A limiting diet might fail to offer the nourishment required for normal development. It is thus advisable for the majority of overweight young adults and the ones with obesity to engage in regular exercise and consume healthy foods.
Just like Nguyen et al. (2015), Geiss et al. (2017) affirm that the most significant practices to avoid are unhealthy eating behaviors, lack of exercise, and increased sedentary activities like too much of watching TV or playing video games. The avoidance of the aforementioned practices forms a section of a healthful lifestyle that ought to be followed in both childhood and adulthood. Parents and guardians are in a better position to prevent both their obesity and that of their children through ensuring consumption of healthy foods, daily exercise, nutrition edification, and avoidance of junk foods. Healthy foods offer the required nutrients for the growth of children and form a healthy consumption behavior and approach in adults while increased exercise decreases medical risks and assists in managing weight.
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Nutritional education assists adults to gain the knowledge of proper nutrition and healthful consumption behaviors; it aids them by persuading them to take up healthful eating habits (Geiss et al., 2017). Adults should avoid focusing on weight objective and concentrate on good health. They should also avoid inadequate time for the family or ignoring overweight in themselves or their children. Instead, adults (especially parents) should involve every member of the family and make efforts towards bettering the family’s consumption practices and observing the time for exercise. Such adults should avoid cases of the family or their children eating out as much as possible and strive to take food together at home at all times. This way, they will ensure consumption of healthy foods, decide which food is eaten when, and facilitate monitored healthy consumption behavior.
For clinical evaluation, every obese person ought to know his or her entire history and have physical examination carried out (An & Xiang, 2016). Everyone’s weight and height ought to be regularly measured and fitness test done. The variation of body mass index all through childhood ought to be plotted on BMI charts, and waist perimeter could be used as a parameter for obesity. Problems that ought to be addressed on fitness test encompass high blood pressure, keratosis nigricans (a disease characterized by thick pigmented skin denoting insulin resistance), and fatty liver to mention a few (Perez et al., 2013).
Cautionary indications of other uncommon causes of obesity encompass short height, use of drugs like corticosteroids, in addition to the developmental setback. In parents and children with grievous obesity, particularly when there is a family record of illnesses linked to insulin resistance, examination for liver problems, dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance to mention a few should be conducted.
Backing the affirmations of other studies, Perez et al. (2013) assert that the success of treatment will entail non-weight associated results, in addition to weight-associated outcomes, which encompass advancement in confidence, an augment in healthful lifestyle habits for the entire family, addressing the co-morbidities of obesity, and parental and children understanding that lasting behavior modification is needed.
Nonetheless, Bouret et al. (2015) establish that weight loss objectives are usually not set when addressing obesity among the adult population since the principal objective ought to be behavioral change. Families have an impact on feeding and other activities hence successful treatment of obesity has to be family centered. Change of lifestyle practices with the adults being on the frontline marks a significant aspect in successful treatment. Numerous visits to nutritionists at the beginning (for example, one time a week or after every two weeks) could be needed to talk about advancement in making minor modifications and as well set new attainable targets. Advice from a professional dietitian for added support in realizing lifestyle modifications could offer great assistance.
Like Geiss et al. (2017), Foster‐Schubert et al. (2012) assert that increase in exercise and healthy eating habits for the entire family are some of the changes that could prevent the development of obesity. All adults ought to be persuaded to set some free time for physical activities. Engaging the whole family in arriving at a change to ensure sustainable and healthful consumption is normally crucial. This is attributable to the reality that transformations in cooking and shopping patterns and modified approaches to the time for consumption and avoidance of junk foods are all needed.
Fundamentally, great concentration ought to be on behavioral modification instead of a prearranged diet. Some of the susceptible consumption behaviors in the family that should be changed could encompass missing lunch or breakfast, consuming high-fat foods, eating junk foods, taking a lot of soft drinks and fruit juice, and frequently having takeaway foods from eateries or eating out. Healthy consumption practices might encompass increased vegetables and fruits, taking food together for the whole family, taking plenty of water each day, organizing non-food rewards for performance of the children such as toys and outings, and carrying lunch to school or place of work.
In conclusion, obesity among the adult population is liable of swaying the likelihood of obesity in children due to genetic and environmental factors. Obesity signifies a great risk aspect for connected co-morbidities such as type II diabetes amid other illnesses and its growing occurrence expresses a great public medical problem. Ways that could prevent or treat obesity successfully encompass modification of dietary practices at home to ensure consumption of healthy foods and frequent physical activities. Involvement of the entire family in realizing an effective change for the prevention of obesity is valuable.
An, R., & Xiang, X. (2016). Age–period–cohort analyses of obesity prevalence in US adults. Public Health, 141, 163-169.
Bouret, S., Levin, B. E., & Ozanne, S. E. (2015). Gene-environment interactions controlling energy and glucose homeostasis and the developmental origins of obesity. Physiological Reviews, 95(1), 47-82.
Foster‐Schubert, K. E., Alfano, C. M., Duggan, C. R., Xiao, L., Campbell, K. L., Kong, A., & McTiernan, A. (2012). Effect of diet and exercise, alone or combined, on weight and body composition in overweight‐to‐obese postmenopausal women. Obesity, 20(8), 1628-1638.
Geiss, L. S., Kirtland, K., Lin, J., Shrestha, S., Thompson, T., Albright, A., & Gregg, E. W. (2017). Changes in diagnosed diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity prevalence in US counties, 2004-2012. PloS One, 12(3), 1-10.
Nguyen, B. T., Shuval, K., Bertmann, F., & Yaroch, A. L. (2015). The supplemental nutrition assistance program, food insecurity, dietary quality, and obesity among US adults. American Journal of Public Health, 105(7), 1453-1459.
Perez, L. G., Arredondo, E. M., Elder, J. P., Barquera, S., Nagle, B., & Holub, C. K. (2013). Evidence-based obesity treatment interventions for Latino adults in the US: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(5), 550-560.
Simmonds, M., Llewellyn, A., Owen, C. G., & Woolacott, N. (2016). Predicting adult obesity from childhood obesity: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Obesity Reviews, 17(2), 95-107.
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