Childhood obesity has been identified as one biggest health problems facing the American society. Childhood obesity can be described as a condition where a child is carrying more weight than it is ideal for their age and height. This disorder has placed children in America at jeopardy of suffering from non-communicable and preventable chronic diseases like hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and asthma (McGrath, 2017). Obese children also suffer from what is known as sleep apnea and depression. It is vital to mention that obese are more often than not predisposed to become overweight and obese in their adulthood and this opens them to surfer from numerous chronic conditions and diseases that have resulted in the increase of mortality rate by more than 40%. Obese adolescents and children tend to be more susceptible to numerous health problems compared to their counterparts who have healthy body weight.
Childhood obesity in American society and many other western nations has been identified as one of the primary healthcare problems as it is increasing at a very high rate. The US has the highest obesity prevalence among children between the ages of 6 and 11 years (Cheung et al. 2016). The condition has increased by 300% among children of this age in the last five decades, and this is an indication of how bad the situation has developed. The prevalence rate was highest for children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 years and lowest in children between the ages of 2 to 5 years. The last 30 years have seen increased cases of obesity prevalence in children of all ages. It is essential, however, to mention that differences in prevalence rates have been noted in regards to children’s race, age, gender, and ethnicity (Cheung et al. 2016). This has shown that children coming from socio-economically challenged backgrounds and minority races such as blacks and Hispanics have a higher median score as opposed to children who are white as they have lower median obesity prevalence rates. For example, research shows that obesity prevalence rates among girls were about 4.5% among Blacks, 2% among Hispanics, and about 0.7% among white girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age (Cheung et al. 2016).
Evidence-based interventions that aim at reducing the obesity rate among children in the country should target both treatment and prevention. High-quality randomized controlled trials are the right preventative intervention (Reilly, 2006).
People working in the health profession have the duty to make sure there is good access to, coverage, and incentives for regular obesity screening, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. There is a need to inform the community about the importance of healthy eating and active living.
The outcomes of the intervention methods mentioned should be to guarantee better continuity of care to obese children. This should result in curriculum adjustments and reduced obesity risks that can help in sustainable change that can help in reducing the cost of obesity in the country (Ross et al. 2010). In the preventive measures that should be taken to help resolve this issue, they should target micro-levels. This means that measures such as change of curriculum to include physical education should be targeting individual children and not a whole group. The macro levels of these measures are the ones that make it hard for these measures to be successful as they assume each child will require the same physical exercises as well as the same diets in order to stay fit.
Unlike other diseases that can be treated within a brief period, obesity and overweight issues take months and even years to be adequately treated. The main reason for this is that the treatment should not be on an individual basis, but the overall behavior of the public as a whole (Ross et al. 2010). This means that the treatment should be multifaceted to include changing the eating habits of the patients as well as educating the population on the importance of eating healthy and indulging in physical exercises regularly.
Cheung, P. C., Cunningham, S. A., Narayan, K. V., & Kramer, M. R. (2016). Childhood obesity
incidence in the United States: a systematic review. Childhood Obesity, 12(1), 1-11.
Ickes, M. J., McMullen, J., Haider, T., & Sharma, M. (2014). Global school-based childhood
obesity interventions: a review. International journal of environmental research and
public health, 11(9), 8940-8961.
McGrath, S. M. (2017). Childhood Obesity Comorbitities Awareness Hospital-based Education
Doctoral Dissertation), Walden University, Minneapolis, Washington.
Reilly, J. J. (2006). Obesity in childhood and adolescence: evidence based clinical and public
health perspectives. Postgraduate medical journal, 82(969), 429-437.
Ross, M. M., Kolbash, S., Cohen, G. M., & Skelton, J. A. (2010). Multidisciplinary treatment of
pediatric obesity: nutrition evaluation and management. Nutrition in ClinicalPractice, 25(4), 327-334.
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