Obesity in Children
After reading the material for this week, the student began to research obesity in middle childhood. The student discovered the causes of middle childhood obesity, the effect of obesity on a child’s health, psychosocial, and cognitive development, and ways to counteract obesity in middle childhood. The student has provided information on obesity solutions in her area, a national program to help stop childhood obesity, and has suggested other ways to help stop childhood obesity.
The Causes of Childhood Obesity
Genetic factors contribute to childhood obesity (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Obese children often remain obese throughout his or her lives. Children suffering ...view middle of the document...
Obese children may suffer from health issues such as diabetes, asthma, sleep issues, and hypertension (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Obesity can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lead to cardiovascular problems. Obese children may also suffer from joint problems, liver disease, and gall bladder disease ("Overweight And Obesity", 2012).
Overweight children suffer psychologically from criticism from thinner peers and body-image disturbances (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Obese children are often ridiculed and teased because they are overweight and are excluded from groups. Overweight children often avoid gym class to avoid ridicule for weight issues. Obese children have been known to have damaging psychological effects such as stigmatization, depression, and emotional trauma (Shoblom, 2012). Obese children are more likely to develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and to develop a substance abuse problem ("Overweight And Obesity", 2012). Obese children are more likely to withdrawal from social interactions with peers and at home contributing to delayed cognitive development.
According to Shoblom (2012), obese children are more likely to have slower cognitive development. Leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone, is secreted by fat cells. Leptin is a common link between obese individuals and cognitive development. Leptin plays a role in both the metabolism and cognitive development, and obese individuals are often Leptin resistant. Obese children will grow into cognitively impaired adults and if America does not work hard to solve this problem than America is likely to be filled with cognitively impaired, unhealthy adults (Shoblom, 2012).
Ways to Counteract Obesity in Middle Childhood
Teaching children how to manage their food intake and physical activity will help counteract obesity. Teaching children how to recognize when he or she is no longer hungry and stop eating when he or she feels full will help children keep from overeating (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Parents encouraging children to be involved in physical activity, such as school sports will help the child stay fit. As long as physical education is catered to each child’s individual needs and capabilities, physical education should be enjoyable for every child ("Prevent Obesity In Middle Childhood By The Promotion Of Physical Activity And Through Education", n.d.). When introduced at a young age, knowledge pertaining to eating healthy and the love for physical activity will be carried throughout the child’s life.
Involving the entire family in reversing obesity has been proven to help obese children (Parke & Gauvain, 2009). Reducing stressful interactions with family at the dinner table has also helped reduce overeating. According to Parke and Gauvain (2009), a family-based study that encouraged parents to be models of good eating and physical exercise found that “34% of the children succeeded in losing 20% or more of their overweight poundage; at...