Historically how fat a child was signified how healthy he or she was and how capable he or she was in surviving the rigors of infection and undernourishment. Over the past decade, however, this notion has changed with excessive fatness arguably viewed as a primary cause of childhood health problem in both the developed countries and the less developed countries. Currently, as studies and statistics show Excessive fatness in both children and adults, known as obesity, has become an epidemic in many parts of the world (Treadwell, Stamps, & Currie, 2010). In most cases, the impacts associated with obesity revolves around the health problems associated with the conditions, problems that include cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal problems
Defined obesity is the medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates to a level that causes health problems. The world health defines obesity as an excessive or even abnormal fat accumulation that impairs the affected individual’s health. Individuals are considered obese in cases where their body mass index, which is measured by dividing the weight of the individual over the square of the height of the individual shows to be over the specific weight set by the locations health sectors. For children, however, obesity can even be identified physically even before conducting the specific measurements. In cases of measurements, however, children are considered obese when their BMI is at or above the 95th percentile (Issue Overview: Childhood Obesity).
Understanding obesity revolves around the understanding of the causes and the impacts resulting from the condition. The fundamental causes of obesity, may it be in adults or even children is energy imbalance between the calories expended and calories consumed. (Diet and Obesity: Should the U.S Government take Measures to Fight Obesity?, 2013) In most cases, this imbalance results from an increased intake of foods dense with energy and high in fact, as well as the decrease in physical activities. For young children, especially those under five years, obesity results from excessive intake of fatty foods.
This factor results from the diet of the individual, which is the primary cause of obesity across all age groups. In today’s world, very few individuals pay close attention to their diets, and the impacts this has on their health. Young adults between the age of 15 and 25 are the most affected age groups by obesity resulting from what they consume. At this age, as identified in several studies, individuals tend to consume large amounts of fatty processed foods, drinking too much alcohol, eat more than they need, consume too many sugary drinks as well as practicing comfort eating (Sekhar, 2010). Comfort eating revolves around eating when depressed and when experiencing low esteem. Alcohol consumption among the youth in both developed and less developed countries is also a major cause of obesity.
The causes of obesity also include genetics, environmental factors, and the social and individual psychology. Genetics in children tends to have a major impact on their weight. Children born with specific genes have been known to have higher levels of appetite and higher metabolism rates. Studies have also shown that parents have a higher tendency of transferring the genes to their children. Environmental factors and also change in environments also act as a major cause of obesity. Some environmental factors that cause obesity in children include, watching television and playing video games. A reduction in the time spent playing video games and watching television increase the physical activities which in turn acts as an element for burning the bodily fats (Issue Overview: Childhood Obesity)
Social and individuals factors include the social class of the individual where people spend more on foods and alcohol consumption and less on exercises. This mostly affects women as it is closely related to low self-esteem and depression. For social and individual psychology, however, one causative factor results to another.
Another important element in understanding obesity as mentioned in the introductory paragraphs is understanding the complications it has on the individual’s health. The health complications from obesity is similar for both children, young adults, and even adults. This health complication includes cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and cancers (Treadwell, Stamps, & Currie, 2010). A major complication resulting from obesity is cardiovascular diseases. This may vary in children and adults where in children the complications are characterized by asthma, diabetes, and even sleep apnea. For adults, however, the cardiovascular complications from obesity include heart attacks and strokes.
Musculoskeletal disorder resulting from obesity mainly affects adults through mostly causing osteoarthritis, a disorder common for disabling the affected through degenerating the strength of the diseases. Some cancers associated with obesity in adults include breast, endometrial, prostate, ovarian, kidney, colon, and liver cancer. For children, however, there are other complications resulting from obesity such as obesity in adulthood, which in turn results in other health complications. An important element t note even with the fact that it is not associated with health complications is bullying. Obese children are often bullied in schools than other children. This bullying, in turn, may result in social isolation, lower self-esteem, and even depression (Sekhar, 2010).
As evident, childhood obesity as a multisystem global disease has the potential for causing devastating effects. The increase in the prevalence of both childhood obesity and adulthood obesity calls for specific interventions among the medical practitioners. These interventions should be influenced by the fact that obesity results in serious psychosocial and medical complications which are prevalent in today’s society and have negatively impacted on health of individuals
- Clifford, P. (2012). Links Sponsor Health Awareness Program. Philadephia Tribune. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/101786014?accountid=41012
- Diet and Obesity: Should the U.S Government take Measures to Fight Obesity? (2013). Issues & Controversy. Retrieved from http://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID-6327
- Issue Overview: Childhood Obesity. (n.d.). Infobase Learning: Issues & Controversies. Retrieved from https://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID=15229&sv=1
- Sekhar, S. (2010). Black and Hispanic Youth Need Help to Fight Obesity. Philadephia Tribune. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/608231337?accountid=41012
- Treadwell, H. M., Stamps, D. B., & Currie, M. (2010). Childhood Obesity is Growith Threat in U.S. Philadephia Tribune. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/751583597?accountid=41012