Obesity and Children
Nowadays obesity is one of the most widespread forms of health issues among the U.S. population. This type of an illness leads to the surfacing and development of many related ailments like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, skin infections, and gallstones amongst others and they highly reduce one’s life expectancy.
In the country, babyhood obesity has actually more than gone a twofold in kids as well as tripled in teenagers in the previous 30 years. Statistics have shown that the proportion of kids aged between 6 and 11 years who were overweight augmented from 7 percent in 1980 to almost 18 percent in 2010 (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, and Flegal pp 483). Apparently, obesity is favored by a large inequality in the diet one takes and also low physical activity. Recent research has shown that the kids with obese parents have a very high risk of becoming overweight too due to the parents’ lifestyles. The study tackles the issue of obesity in children and the possible solutions.
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Parents ought to know that children’s obesity usually has serious consequences as it greatly increases the risk of developing such chronic diseases like diabetes, diseases of a liver and a gall bladder, a hypertension, infertility and others. The people suffering from obesity since childhood can have such diseases as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, a myocardial infarction or chronic heart insufficiency at early age, despite the fact that these diseases are mainly prevalence in the elderly people.
Most often excess weight in kids is caused by improper nutrition coupled with inactive lifestyles but also can be brought about by diseases of endocrine system or other serious problems with health. Major factors which cause the risk of obesity include:
Irrational food: If the child regularly uses high-calorific, fat and sweet food (fast food, snacks, chips, confectionery, rich baking, etc.), it can lead to accumulation of more calories and hence excess weight. If sweet aerated drinks, ice cream, desserts with cream and other sweets are added to it, the risk of obesity increases even more (Anderson and Butcher pp 21).
Inactive way of life: The lack of physical activities promotes gaining an excess weight as in this case the child burns almost no calories while he/she eats more food. If the child spends much time watching TV, computer or even playing video games, then this form of lifestyle of inactivity promotes the encroachment of obesity.
Hereditary factor: If family members suffer from hormonal imbalance which leads to gaining excess weight at some stage in body development, then the genes involved will be transferred to the kid.
Psychological factors: There are several issues which affect children during their development and these psychological problems like stress, troubles or strong emotions are known to make them consume more foods therefore posing a threat to their overall weight (Anderson and Butcher pp 22).
According to a variety of researches, the children with obesity usually suffer from depression, anxiety, life deterioration, decrease in self-image, a social segregation along other social violations (Flegel et. al. 145). Kids with obesity suffer from dejection and other mental abuses and they apparently develop in about 20-30 percent of patients who had obesity and did not handle the reduction of their weight in different clinics (Cawley 16). Therefore, researchers have been able to find information linking emotional frustrations to obesity. For instance, some patients’ level of depression didn’t drop off even after undergoing treatment (Sauaia pp 2145).
The issue of obesity has been known to be directly connected to various psychological problems like: social disadaptation, phobia, nervousness, depression, feature of life, and various sorts of food behavior. All these are emotional aspects suffered by obese kids and its mainly attributed to their overweight and to prevent such outcomes which might even be suicide, they ought to be treated as equal members of the society (Sauaia pp 2145).
Furthermore, there are other factors which lead to obesity and they include food traditions, the family’s food trends, as well as the present society. There are families which believe that fast foods, snacks, and foodstuff which have high calorific values are good for their kids which are totally wrong. Seemingly, the current society has undergone revolution whereby mothers have turned to be workers and shunned the aspect that they are only supposed to do home chores. This has made the society turn into fast foods since people don’t have enough time to cook. The mental crisis period of adolescence is always intense as these youngsters undergo major transformational changes in their bodies and such time is usually accompanies by adoption of weird preferences like eating too much which eventually leads to obesity (Haslam 95).
Obesity in U.S. is a thorny issue and it has actually become the most widespread forms of health issue in the country’s population. There are numerous complications and illnesses associated with obesity and they include: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, skin infections, and gallstones amongst others and they highly reduce one’s life expectancy. Consequently, there are several factors which promote obesity in children and they comprise of eating unbalanced diets, lack of exercise, hereditary aspects, as well as psychological factors like depression and strong emotions. Therefore, to curb obesity in the country, stern solutions have to be put in place right from the family basis and by so doing the health issue can be reduced greatly.
The treatment of obesity has to be conducted by a specialized nutritionist along with a psychologist as the issue requires top notch expertise and care in dealing with it. Proper identification of the social and psychological factors which causes and emerges due to the health condition ought to be handled amicably (Anderson and Butcher pp 22).
Besides, the kids who suffer from obesity face great emotional pressure, and therefore it would be perfect and advantageous to them when the psychologist advices thoroughly on all aspects associated with obesity and how to deal with them, and most importantly to educate the kids on accepting who they are (Itallie et. al 78). Therefore with such guidance and counseling, they would eliminate depression and self esteem and focus on building their careers. Moreover, motivational talks usually boosts one’s self esteem and since such children have seemingly a low self-confidence, guidance would absolutely eliminate it and thereafter positive thinking sets in (Davis 114).
Social interactions of children with obese issues with the other kids has been recorded as low since some of them tend to keep everything to themselves and prefer not to interact with others as they view themselves with low esteem (Coulston, Boushey, and Ferruzzi pp 27). Seemingly, some of the normally weighted children tend to segregate themselves from the obese kids and this creates stigma on the overweight kids which further on reduces their self confidence. Therefore, in a class setting the obese girls have reported to be lowly contacted by the boys (Coulston, Boushey, and Ferruzzi pp.27).
There are several solutions which can be deployed so as to curb obesity and one of them is engaging in treatment therapies. The treatment of childhood obese is basically
based on the child's real age and whether he/she has any further medical conditions. Treatment generally comprises of changes in the child's intensity of physical activity as well as diet. In some circumstances, the treatment undertaking might include weight loss operation or medications. To treat obesity in children, it is certainly necessary to enact changes in all food behavioral stereotypes in the society and also the creation of the persona adaptation within the society. This will surely decrease any excess weight gain and more so change the general self-image of the kids with obesity throughout the society.
For a full success tp be felt on the treatment of obesity, the patient has to have full understanding of the obesity issue, what causes the health problem, and most importantly accept himself/herself. There are also other factor in play which determine the success of the treatment for instance, the age, psychological, and social factors within the society (Garber, Gross, and Slonim 28).
The treatment of kids less than seven years is quite tricky since its difficulty for them to comprehend the situation and for those that have apparently no further health issues, then the objective of carrying out the treatment could be the maintenance of weight rather than the normal weight loss. This particular strategy therefore allows the kid to increase in height rather than in pounds, and thus causing the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the noted age to decrease over time towards a healthier range.
The treatment of kids older than seven years is quite applicable as the child is able to comprehend the health issue and do as told with definitely some supervision. The choice of food, the daily menu and the dietary habits in a family majorly depends on the adults, and therefore the adults ought to be fully corporative on the issue of reducing their kids’ obesity.
While purchasing foodstuffs, parents have to ensure that there is enough fruits and vegetables and more ensure that the child consumes a completely balanced diet. Foodstuffs which contain too much sugar, spicy, and fat have to be avoided at all times and make use of the low calorie products. Also, parents ought to desist from the practice of giving food to kids as a punishment or a reward as this creates a bad eating behavior.
There are also medications which have been recommended by the healthcare sector, and among the weight drugs available in the country is orlistat (Xenical) and its approved for children above 12 years and it basically prevents the intake of fat inside the intestines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has apparently approved a nonprescription variant of orlistat called Alli. Nevertheless, prescription medication generally isn't frequently recommended for teenagers. Since the risks associated with taking prescriptiondrugs for a prolonged term is yet to be documented and more so the drug’s effect on instigating weight maintenance and and weight loss forchildren is yetl questioned. Furthermore, weight-lossing medications don't actually replace the requirement for adopting exercise regiment and healthy diet. There is also a weight loss surgical operation which is absolutely adopted when other conventional methods of weight loss have failed. Its really effective and safe but as with all surgical operations, it has potential risks and more so long term complexities are still undetermined. This solution is undertaken in the event that the obese condition poses an extremely high threat to the life of the child (Cawley pp 56).
Children in this century of information technology are more inclined towards television, computers, and video games and the time consumed while doing these stuff robs the vital time supposed to be used for physical activity. An essential part of weight loss for children is undertaking physical activity. Physical exercise not only combusts the calories in the young body but also helps in building strong muscles and bones and more so helps kids remain alert daytime while sleeping amicably well at night. Therefore, for the treatment of obese in kids, the parents ought to implement inclusive physical exercise as they will help them maintain healthiness weight despite overeating, social; influence, rapid growth and hormonal changes (Stephanie, Moravcik, and Nolte n.p.).
To increase the child's activity intensity, the parents have the responsibility of scheduling the time preserved for recreational TV and computer and minimize it to 2 hours daily. This increases the kid’s activity levels as they will have time for physical activities. Moreover, other deskbound activities like video gaming and conversing through the phone have to be limited too. Seemingly, the parents should prevent kids from eating while watching TV as their attention is drawn to the screen thus ending up eating much.
At all times, the parents ought to emphasize on activity, not merely on exercise. The child’s activity has not to be structured into an exercise program and therefore, free play acts like playing jump or tag rope, hide and seek, and also swimming are usually beneficial to the kid as loads of calories are burnt during such escapades while their fitness is generally improved (Coulston, Boushey, and Ferruzzi pp 34).
The parents have to find activities which their children like to carry out like for instance, in the event that the child is creatively inclined, then carry out a nature trek to gather rocks, leaves and the kid can use these to create a collage. For a child to be active, their parents ought to be active too. Therefore, the family should find for fun oriented activities which the entire family can accomplish it together. The family must never craft exercise to look like a chore or even a punishment as the kids will not see it as vital for their health but a mere punishment.
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