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Negative Effects Of Childhood Obesity

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WRTG 391

April 21, 17

Introduction

Childhood obesity is the condition whereby excess body fat negatively affects child’s health. The rising prevalence of obesity in children today and its adverse health effects has made childhood obesity categorized as a serious public health concern globally. Many people term obesity as overweight, which makes it less stigmatizing. Body Mass Index (BMI) involves determining the ratio of weight to the height which may vary with sex and age. The obesity has significance impacts on both psychological and physical health of the child.  This paper will conduct the effects of the obesity to the children and adverse outcomes of childhood obesity, and what causes obesity.

Causes of childhood obesity

Obesity development mechanism is not fully understood but it has been confirmed that obesity occurs when the energy intakes exceed the energy expenditure. A range of factors can cause obesity in children often may act in combination(Anderson, 2006).

Genetic factors

One cause of childhood obesity is genetics. If both parents have obesity then the likelihood of bearing an obese child is very high and many parents who have obesity have transferred the same problem to their children.

Cultural environment

Children who are brought in an environment where people are taking sugary food are at high risk of gaining weight continuous which later makes them have obesity. Parents who don’t regulate what their children are eating, have made their kids to eat junk foods which haav high percentage of calories thus making them obese and overweight. Moreover parents today have made the kids choose what they want to know(Moore, 2016). This freedom of giving kids make their decision of food consumption has made the kids select junk food because of they are sweet and very easy to take. Moreover, the kids have irregular food timetable and they eat anytime they feel eating making them eat more food compared to physical activities they are engaged in.

Diet

Obesity and overweight are as result of increase caloric intake. When one takes more calories than the one consumed during activities, one gain weight and the fats are stored in the body gradually, which after that makes one have obesity. 

Physical activity.

Due to the steady decline of physical activity among almost age groups, physical activity has contributed to rising rates of obesity globally. Physical activities significantly influence weight gain. Various studies have shown that sedentary behaviors such as playing computer games and watching television are associated with prevalence increase childhood obesity. Parents have also significantly contributed to childhood obesity (Sleddens, 2011). Many parents prefer their children to watch television and play video games so that they can keep an eye on them as they perform their chores. They feel insecure when their kids are involved in physical activity outside. Additionally, many children nowadays are driven to school and therefore they don’t walk and walking is part of the physical activity which used to help many people especially those at a tender age. Furthermore, sports and physical education rates have reduced momentously in schools thus exposing children to obesity risk and children lack a chance to take away calories in their bodies.

Psychological factors.

Research has also shown that there is a positive correlation between the low self-esteem and obesity. Children who are obese feel sorrowful, bored, and very nervous. Additionally, stress influences children eating habits due to the low self-esteem, the children tend to spend their life lonely both at home and school and they don’t participate in physical activities like other children thus making them gain weight unremittingly.Depression can also make kids overeat. The children who are lonely only keep on eating all the time, and they don’t participate in exercises such as playing football or walking thus making them take out very little calories in their bodies.

Impacts of childhood obesity

Childhood obesity has affected many children in the world. It’s one of the epidemics that are causing parents a lot of money when the children are undergoing treatment. Moreover, childhood obesity has made the government spend a lot of money in purchasing the instruments and drugs necessary for treatment of obesity (Schwartz, 2003). Some obese children fail to benefit from physical activities and therefore they recommended to undergo surgery though the surgery is very expensive. Today in every community there children who have obesity and the problem is increasing every day.

Childhood obesity has both psychological and physical effects. The obese children suffer physical effects such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and many other diseases. Psychological effects include social discrimination and low self-esteem. Childhood obesity continues to be a major growing problem in today’s society. In fact almost one out of five children is obese and the number is increasing. Scientists believe that today generation of children has a short lifespan compared to their parents.  The research conducted today involves studying both the mental and physical effects of obesity on kids.

The children who are obese also have a high risk of been attacked by heart disease. If obesity continues to adulthood, the children are at high risk of suffering heart disease which is very dangerous and very expensive to treat.

Depression.

Obese children feel they don’t belong of fit anywhere. Most of them lack friends who can give them company. They are always sad and very nervous. As a result, the obese children are very lonely and always in deep thought about themselves(Wardle, 2005). This makes them develop self-hatred and most of them like stay in indoor places where they spend time alone. They are always sad and after a while, they become clinically depressed.

Poor body image.

Obese children also face the big challenge of maintaining body shape. The fats in the body accumulate everywhere in the body making them very big compared to their height. The obese children become very inactive in conducting any activities and they get tired very fast when performing any chore. Their waist disappears and they develop a body shape that is not good at all. It’s also important to notice that the obese children face clothes problems. Most of the clothes ready available in the market don’t fit obese children and the children are forced to see Tailors make clothes that will fit them. The most affected are those in school when they are purchasing school uniform.

Low self-concept.

Obese children tend to have low self-esteem compared to their counterparts mainly because of feeling ashamed when people talk about their body. These children don’t appreciate themselves and they lack self-confidence in everything they do thus end up performing very poor in school (Strauss, 2000). Additionally, they don’t believe they can be successful in anything more so other children tend to nickname several names. Most of them also lack friends in school and at home making them stay lonely. They have difficulties in making and maintaining friends. Moreover, the teachers at school also disfavor obese kids especially in physical education classes and the obese students are the last one to be chosen when the teachers are making the team (Wang, 2008).

Risk for eating disorder.

It’s ironic that obese children are the one who eats more compared to other kids. They tend to seek comfort through keeping themselves busy with eating thus adding more calories in their bodies. Some stress can make the children overindulge in food. The conditions include moving to new places, school difficulties, and the death of a parent or the divorce. The children eat routinely when faced by these challenges thus making matter worse and they gain more weight.

Behavior and learning problems.

Obese children behave totally differently compared to other children both at home and in school. The obese kids are very aggressive at school because of that the only way to make other recognize that they are very energetic and they should not be undermined. It’s also crucial to notice that obese kids are not very active in chores and they don’t participate in physical activities because of they are afraid that other children will make fun of them. The victims also tend to have problems in learning(Pearce, 2002). They rarely perform very well in education simply because they don’t believe they can make it. Due to withdrawal behavior, the children don’t have an intimate relationship with their teachers and therefore they can’t approach teachers when faced with difficulties.

Moreover, people have developed stereotype concerning obese people and many of them argue that it was the obese peoples’ fault, to be the way they are. More so people have a perception that obese are indolent thus making them have self-esteem, and they may live single without a partner in life as it is believed that they have low romance and their relationship will be very boring.

The children who have obesity also in high risk of aging acceleration where their bodies appear to be very old compared to their age. Moreover, the obesity is implicated in lower performance on cognitive control task and the kids’ brain may be affected thus making them not very active in reasoning. The worst about the disease is that it has caused death to many young children globally.

Ways eradicating childhood obesity

Childhood obesity has no specific medicine to treat it but there are certain factors if implemented can significantly assist in eradicating the problem in the society (O’dea, 2005).The parents should always monitor what their children are eating and they should ensure that their children take healthy food. On the same note, the parents should regulate eating habits of their kids and make sure the kids don’t overeat.

The parents should always make sure that fruits and vegetables are available at home and reduce the availability of junk food which children like most. The junk food has high calories thus making the kids gain weight (Clark, 2007). The parents should also support the participation in play, physical activities, and sports so that their children participate and get the chance to take out calories in the body. Moreover schools also have an enormous role in ensuring that the students participate in physical education such as athletes which involves almost every student and in the process of running, calories in the body are will be used. It’s also very critical to control children the way they are watching television (Latner, 2007). Parents should discourage children to watch Television all the time. During the day time, the kids should participate in physical activity such as watching football on the field and not on the computer. Through physical activities participation, the kids will be able to take away calories in their bodies.

Conclusion

The childhood has negatively affected the entire society and has been genesis of many chronic diseases that eradicate many people today. Childhood obesity is increasing rapidly and its side effects are affecting the society. The problem needs to be addressed seriously to eradicate the problem to protect the current generation from losing their life.  Moreover the childhood obesity the genesis of other chronic diseases such cancer and respiratory diseases thus exposing the young ones to the risk of been attacked by the diseases. Treating obesity also uses a lot of money during treatment and therefore it needs to be handled immediately before it becomes worst.

References

Anderson, P. M. (2006). Childhood obesity: trends and potential causes. The Future of Children, 16, 19-45. Retrieved from  http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.umuc.edu/stable/3556549

Clark, H. R. (2007). How do parents’ child-feeding behaviors influence child weight? Implications for childhood obesity policy. Journal of Public Health, 29(2), 132-141. DOI: 10.1093

Latner, J. D. (2007). Stigma, Obesity, and the Health of the Nation’ s Children. Psychological Bulletin133(4), 557-580. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.133.4.557.

Moore, B. (2016). Interactions between diet and exposure to secondhand smoke on the prevalence of childhood obesity: Results from NHANES, 2007-2010. Environmental Health Perspectives124(8), 1316-1322. doi:10.1289/ehp.‪1510138

O’Dea, J. (2000). School-Based Interventions to Prevent Eating Problems: First Do No Harm. Eating Disorders8(2), 123. Retrieved form http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umuc.edu/eds/detail/detail

Pearce, M. J. (2002). Adolescent obesity, overt and relational peer victimization, and romantic relationships. Obesity, 10(5), 386-393. doi: 10.1038/oby.2002.53

Schwartz, M. B., & Puhl, R. (2003). Childhood obesity: a societal problem to solve. Obesity Reviews4(1), 57-71. doi:10.1046/j.1467-789X.2003.00093.x

Sleddens, E. F. et al. (2011). General parenting, childhood overweight and obesity‐inducing behaviors: A review. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 6(2), 12-27.DOI: 10.3109/17477166.2011.566339

Strauss, R. (2000). Self-esteem related to childhood obesity. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter16(3), 3. Retrieved from http://www.wiley.com

Wang, F. &. (2008). Self‐esteem and cognitive development in the era of the childhood obesity epidemic. Obesity Reviews, 9(6), 615-623.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00507.x’

Wardle, J. &. (2005). The impact of obesity on psychological well-being. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 19(3), 421-440. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2005.04.006

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