Child Obesity Essay

1579 words - 7 pages

Social Problem of Child Obesity

Social Problem of Child Obesity
Childhood obesity is a health related condition characterized by the child having excess body fat. The excess fat negatively affects the health of the child and predisposes a child to other health related conditions. Obesity in children has been on the rise in the recent times due to different reasons. According to Macionis children who are overweight are approximately one-fifth of the population. In the United States, the condition has almost quadrupled from 7% in the 80s to 18% in recent years. According to findings by CDC 1 in every 8 children in preschool is obese. Conventionally the ...view middle of the document...

These play a role in determining our appetite, body fat distribution and metabolism rates. In case of abnormality in the body and levels of these hormones, obesity may take place due to interference in metabolism and the distribution of body fat (Obesity and hormones, n.d.)
Diet taken is one major cause of obesity in children. There is increased availability of fatty foods compared to healthy foods which itself is a social problem. Foods high in calories such as fast foods, chips, candy, soda, vending machine snacks and cookies are examples of popular foods associated with children that directly contribute to obesity. Research has shown that increase in snacking has resulted to increase in calorie intake especially those aged from 2 to 6.
Lack of physical activities by the children is another lifestyle reason for increase in obesity cases. Video games, television viewing and computers comprise of the popular pastimes children are engaging in today’s world. All these lead to sedentary lifestyles, they burn few calories as they participate while seated and hence have high chances of gaining weight. Children don’t get a chance to walk denying them the slightest opportunity to engage in physical activity worsening the situation. Such kids grow without culture of physical activities which they carry on even in later life.
Environment the child is brought up in has an influence on likelihood of getting obese. If a child grows up in an environment where a lot of foods that have high calories carry the day, they have high chances of being obese compared to that one whose environment favors fruits and vegetables. Obesity may also result from psychological factors; some children may at times use food as a mechanism to deal with negative emotions or problems they may be encountering in life. These children may end up consuming a lot of food which results in weight gain, examples include those who are mourning or suffering from divorce (Childhood Obesity, n.d)
Medical conditions can also cause obesity in children. These are rare conditions that are related to body hormones and genetics that can lead to obesity. Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Prader- Willi syndrome are example of medical conditions that cause obesity in children. Socioeconomic conditions also have an influence in development of obesity in children.
Detection of obesity in children is not easy and most parent come to the realization their children have a problem after the weight gain becomes pronounced. In diagnosis of obesity the concept of body mass index is used. BMI is the ratio of a person’s weight to height in relation to their gender and age. BMI compares the amount of fat in the body, however it does not measure fat. When an individual has a BMI lying between 25- 29.9 then they are considered to be overweight. An individual is said to be obese when their BMI goes beyond 30.0. For children below 2 years growth charts instead of BMI are used (Childhood Obesity, n.d.) BMI...

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