Obesity in Children

Introduction

The need to eat healthily has been under a lot of focus by medical experts, nutritionists, and even psychologists. Obesity has become a disease that has been growing like cancer in developed countries. Despite it not being as severe in the developing countries, it is still a cause of concern. Obesity in children has risen in children since the 1970s, and it is not getting any better (Micha, 2018). According to the CDC, obesity in children has tripled since the 1970s; the statistics are much worrying in that between the years 2015-2016, 1 in every 5 school-going children between ages 6-19 years has obesity (Fatima, 2015). These statistics are in the USA alone, and it could even be worse in other countries such as China and other European countries. 

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Certain factors have been mapped out as a result of this spike in the number of children with obesity. These factors include eating and physical activities, genetics, metabolism, short sleep duration, and other factors (Fatima, 2015). All of these issues have arisen from nature which society has changed, and life also has changed. Children are being introduced to unhealthy foods and eating habits at an early age, and this is where the disease begins to take its toll. 

The Methods used and Criteria

The articles that have been used in this essay have been derived from academic sources that have been able to state facts and figures about obesity in children. These articles have been written from a period that is not more than five years ago. Most of these articles can explain the origins of this disease and how it has been able to manifest itself in the different types of societies around the world (Eisenberg, 2017). The change in culture has also been able to create a perfect environment to ensure that the disease can thrive.

According to an article by Hales, obesity has also been able to be traced as an issue that could stem from the psyche of a particular individual. Some of these eating habits develop due to being in stressful situations and also traumatic experiences such as bullying. This article goes into detail to also state that obesity is prevalent in youth and children, and the harm that the disease is causing in these children cannot be ignored (Danese, 2014). These articles have been chosen concerning how obesity affects children and also young adults and when it started to change persons mostly in the developing world.

The Main Components of the Articles

According to the article by Swinburn, the obesity pandemic in children has been aided by global drivers and local environments. In this article, Swinburn was able to highlight specific issues that have emerged from a specified period, which is in the 1970s. The author has stated that through globalization, people want to be more westernized, and the eating habits are also included (Fryar, 2016). It is rare to see adverts on the television about weight loss, but the adverts on food are everywhere, and this has been a contributing factor in obesity in children. The author encourages parents to try and protect their children from these types of issues.

Another article that speaks on the issue of obesity is one by Fryar; this article talks on the prevalence of being overweight and obese as a young adult or as a child. The main problem is that unlike adults, children are unaware or unconscious of their weight when they are growing. According to Fryar, children are looked after by their parents, and they ensure that the children do not overeat or the amount and type of food are regulated in their children (Hales, 2017). This has to start at a very tender age because parents are not always around to look at what their kids are consuming. 

The Limitations, Controversies, Similarities, and Differences

These articles and studies do not all determine the same facts, and they vary in nature due to the amount of work and resources that have been researched. Some of these articles and studies have certain limitations in that they only highlight and explain how the disease has affected children in developed countries such as the USA (Fryar, 2017). They have not been able to show obesity in children in the UK, France, Germany, and other European countries. Coupled with that is also the factor of China as an area of study (Eisenberg, 2017). The Chinese element cannot be undercut because it has proven to be a proper area of analysis for various studies, and one of them is obesity in children.

The major controversy that stems from these analyses is the exact period when obesity was adequately described as a pandemic. Some studies, such as that done by the CDC, map out the 1970s as the time that the disease began its ascent. Some studies have put its origins from the 1963to 1965 as the starting point (Micha, 2018). Others studies have highlighted that the shift in a culture informed these types of changes that have consequently led to the emergence of the disease. 

The similarities in most of these articles are the fact that obesity is indeed a disease that affects children mostly. And this disease can be stimulated by psychological factors as indicated in sections by Eisenberg and Fryar. The eating habits of children are also a common point of reference by the authors of these articles in that they help to shape how the child is likely to manifest this disease (Micha, 2018). It is important to note that most of these issues frequently arise from the environmental factors in that children’s idea of playing these days is not running around; it is playing videos games.

An Analysis of Evidence

There ought to be individual solutions that have to be highlighted to avoid this disease from becoming much more prevalent in children in the future. Most of the parents are not able to know what to do when their kids gain this type of weight. Some of them are not aware of what being obese means, and it is likely to leave them in a state of confusion. It is essential to identify what can be done to tackle this issue and also make aware of the parents what they need to do to avoid this predicament in their children (Gortmarker, 2015).

It has also become increasingly important to let children know that they are supposed to live and eat healthily. This is because they are likely to live their lives much more comfortable, and this will spiral down to future generations (Gortmarker, 2015). The need to live a healthy lifestyle has never been more critical than it is now, and experts should be able to give more information on the effects of having a harmful lifestyle not only in adults but also in children and young adults.

Conclusion

Lifestyle diseases should be avoided at all costs because they are causing unnecessary deaths in young people and middle-aged persons. These diseases have also been able to reduce the mortality rate in children and adults. The society as a whole should ensure that these issues can be mitigated to avoid these deaths, and it starts by leading healthy lives that are manageable by an individual.

References

Danese, A, Tan M. (2014) Childhood maltreatment and obesity: systematic review and meta-analysis. Mol Psychiatry.19:544–54

Eisenburg L.K, can Wijk K.J.E, Liefbroer A.C, Smidt N. (2017) Accumulation of adverse childhood events and overweight in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity. 2017; 25(5): 820-832.

Fatima Y, Doi SAR, Mamun A.A. (2015) Longitudinal impact of sleep on overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: a systematic review and bias-adjusted meta-analysis. Obes Rev.15(2):137–149

Fryar C.D, Carroll M.D, Ogden C.L. (2014) Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents: United States, 1963-1965 through 2011-2012. Health E-Stats.

Hales C.M, Carroll M.D, Fryar C.D, Ogden C.L. (2017) Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS Data Brief. 288:1–8.

Lobstein T, Jackson-Leach R, Moddie M.l et al. (2015) Child and adolescent obesity: part of a bigger picture. Obesity.385 (9986): 2510-2520.Micha R, Karageorgou D, Bakogianni I, et al. (2018) Effectiveness of school food environment policies on children’s dietary behaviors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 13(3)

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