The Crucial Issue Of Child Obesity In The World And Methods Of Its Prevention

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Abstract

Child obesity is a condition of excessive body fat that results from a chronic energy imbalance whereby intake exceeds expenditure. There was telephone survey conducted among the selected minorities that have the history of child obesity. There were 10,000 respondents to the survey. Aged group were also used for data collected. The selected age groups were 2-5 years, 6-11 years and 12-17 years. The outcome of the research showed high rate of child obesity with 6-11 years. It also established child obesity among the aboriginal and Hispanic descents.

Introduction

The Epidemic of Child Obesity

Child obesity has been a major healthy that is rampant among the children and youth in the recent years. It has been recognized as a pandemic that is affecting millions of people nationwide. In most advance countries between 10 percent and 20 percent of people are obese. This indicates that it needs an urgent attention from government. National institute of Health define “Obesity is a condition of excessive body fat that results from a chronic energy imbalance whereby intake exceeds expenditure. Excess body fat increases an individual’s risk of premature death from chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease and some cancers” (Bethesda MD 1998). Obesity posted vital health risks which can cause untimely death in children and youths. It is a great concern that it needs an urgent attention. Let us look at the issues that associated with obesity: 1) Parental genetics, 2) Body metabolism, 3) Eating and physical activity behaviors, 4) Short sleep duration.

The Effect of Child Obesity

Child obesity has effect on the overall health of the children and youth. It has known for the major heathy risk in the human body. This includes cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance (often an early sign of impending diabetes), musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints), some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon) and physical disability. All these ailments can cause untimely death. These diseases can increase the government spending in the heath sector.

What is Body Max Index

The overweight and obesity are determined by the Body Max index. It is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. The standard categories are underweight (BMI less than 18.5), normal (18.5–24.9), overweight (25–29.9), and obese (30 or more). Another method used to determine obesity is epidemiologic is the study of waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and skin-fold thickness. In other to determine the level of obesity or overweight these tools are used by the medical professionals. A higher BMI, beginning in the upper range of the normal weight category, is associated with increased mortality and increased risk for coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and certain types of cancer.

How to Prevent Child Obesity

Child obesity to some certain degree is preventable. It requires government supportive policies, environments, schools and communities are fundamental in shaping parents’ and children’s choices, making the healthier choice of foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing obesity. According to world health organisation (WHO) it recommended the following solution to prevent child obesity, “ early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth; exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life; and the introduction of nutritionally-adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months together with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.” (World Health Organisation, 2017)

Methodology

Participant

The research was conducted on different age groups that range from 2 to 5 years, 6 to 11 years and 12- 19 years old. It is also included people of different ethnicities in United States and Canada. There was a national household telephone survey that was conducted in 1997-1998 with 10,000 respondents. All respondents lived in United States and Canada. The purpose of the survey was to determine body max index of certain age groups.

Procedures

The weight and height of each participant was measure, and then compared with their ages group used to determine the body max index. A telephone was set up to make phone calls to some selected people to ask about their smoking status this is used to categories into ever smoking, daily smoking, and never smoking; problem drinking was assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT); and age is measured as a continuous variable.

Results

The Prevalence of Childhood Obesity

“Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations. Hispanics (25.8%) and non-Hispanic blacks (22.0%) had higher obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic whites (14.1%). Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.” (CDC, June 2019).

The Contributors of Child Obesity

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The first contributor of child obesity is food industry. It is close to impossible to get correct nutritional facts of any food. The labeling system is completely joke. The food inspectors do not properly examine the food anymore. Choosing healthy foods for infants and young children is critical because food preferences are established in early life. Feeding infants energy-dense, high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt foods is a key contributor to childhood obesity. Lack of information about sound approaches to nutrition and poor availability and affordability of healthy foods contribute to the problem. The aggressive marketing of energy-dense foods and beverages to children and families further exacerbate it. In some societies, longstanding cultural norms (such as the widespread belief that a fat baby is a healthy baby) may encourage families to over-feed their children.

Discussion

This study was done to examine the effect of child obesity in our society. It detailed on the long term of Obesity in difference age groups. It was examined that children with obesity can growth to have high risk heart disease, low self- esteem within their peers, physical disability and diabetic. The study also showed the high rate of obesity among the minorities especially with aboriginal children whom does not have clue about their nutritional facts of the food they eat. Obesity can also be traced back to the genetic of the parents. The extended long screen time contribute the child obesity. This has been rampant in the recent years with the new technology. Most kids prefer to stay in front of the television for hours rather doing physical activities.

Diet, Exercise and Screen time

These three factors can be used to reduce child obesity. It has been noticed lately that fast food industry is booming, because children prefer to get junk food instead of eating an healthy food. The rate of children’s consumption of fast food has increased dramatically over the past two decades, and that a large majority of them do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. Parents are also busy with tight schedule less or no parents have time to cook healthy meals for their kids. According to Canadian Community Health Survey (CHS) “59% of Canadian children and adolescents were reported to consume fruit and vegetables less than five times a day”. (Shields,2006).

Regular physical activities have been experimented to reduce child obesity. A study was conducted in 2004 to show the impact of screen time on child obesity. Watching television, playing video games and using the computer are common activities for many Canadian children. Time spent in this way is often referred to as ‘screen time.’ In 2004, over a third (36%) of children aged 6 to 11 logged more than 2 hours of screen time each day. These children were twice as likely to be overweight/ obese (35%) as were those whose daily viewing amounted to an hour or less (18%). Obesity was also about twice as common in this group (11%), compared with those who had an hour or less of daily screen time (5%).” (Shields, 2006).

Limitation

This report was limited to certain age groups. It does not use all the ethnicities in the survey. Telephone survey was limited to certain group of minorities. The information available for this report might have been recently updated by Canada Disease Control. ( CDC)

Conclusion

For the past 15 years, the rate of Canadian children and adolescents who are overweight or obese has risen geometrically. This can be notable among 12- to 17-year-olds, whose overweight/obesity rate has more than doubled, and whose obesity rate has tripled. The epidemic of childhood obesity places on the health care system is difficult. It cost government to make necessary medical provision for those that obese. Hence, the related physical health problems are usually not evident until later in life.

The burden that childhood obesity places on the health care system is difficult to quantify because the related physical health problems are usually not evident until later in life.

Moreover, the prevalence of overweight/obesity among young people is alarming because childhood overweight is an indication that he will grow to be obese as well. To reduce obesity children need to encourage healthy eating in the school. To do that children needs to understand the benefit of eating more fruit and vegetables, increasing physical activity and devoting less time to sedentary activities such as watching television and playing video games. This may help reverse the upward trend of child obesity.

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