Discussion of Child Obesity Condition

Thesis Statement

Childhood obesity is a catastrophic condition in the 21st century affecting children and adolescents. Given the technological advancements and the sedentary lifestyle embraced globally, this condition is set to increase even further. There is a need to arrest this condition before more children and adolescents are affected. The condition affects their health negatively and impacts their physical and mental development at a stage that is mainly formative in their lives.

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Introduction

Childhood obesity is growing at a distressing speed globally, especially in the US, where it is highly prevalent. It is defined as body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the expected BMI calculated by computing height and mass (CDC, 2021). In the years 2017-2018 and for children between 2-19 years, the incidence was 19.3% and claimed 14.4 million patients in this age group in the US (CDC, 2021). Obesity extent was 13.4% among 2 to 5-year olds, 20.3% among 6 to 11-year-olds, and 21.2% for those between 12 to 19 years. The high prevalence of childhood obesity is associated with the global lifestyle changes causing the adoption of sedentary lifestyles.

Impact on Child Development

Childhood obesity is caused by massive inactivity as children prefer playing video games and watching television instead of playing with other children outside. The minimized interaction with other children leads to poor development of social skills. Obese children and adolescents also have a problem communicating effectively with other children (Poh et al., 2019). These children also have poorly developed immune systems due to minimized exposure to microorganisms that prime the body’s immunity (Kelishadi et al., 2017). Childhood obesity also predisposes children to adulthood obesity because they cannot combat the condition and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Childhood obesity is implicated with various intellectual shortcomings such as low retention capacity, poor concentration, and diminished understanding of simple childhood concepts.

Predisposition to Other Diseases

Childhood obesity predisposes children to high blood pressure, and the high cholesterol content predisposes them to cardiovascular disorders such as heart failure. The condition also predisposes the children to impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (Weihrauch-Blüher et al., 2019). Obese children also suffer from breathing difficulties such as asthma and sleep apnea that complicate the children’s ability to engage in physical activities. Joint problems and muscular discomfort are also common amongst children suffering from the condition due to fat deposition in the joints and around muscles hence poor development. The condition also predisposes children to fatty liver diseases, hence impaired metabolism.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention of childhood obesity is crucial in preventing the further prevalence of the condition. Prevention of childhood obesity should involve adopting healthy eating habits that are focused on consuming the right amount of calories. Parents should focus on ensuring their children have the essential nutrients in their diet, including carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins, instead of concentrating on specific weight goals (Ash et al., 2017). Emphasis on physical activity while shunning a sedentary lifestyle is also essential. Children should be discouraged from spending their day indoors watching television and playing video games to ensure they do not gain excess weight.

Conclusion

In conclusion, childhood obesity is a public health concern due to its impact on future adults and the health complications that accompany it. The condition causes delayed physical and mental developments in its patients and must be handled to secure the lives of those children. The disease also predisposes children to diabetes, high blood pressure, joint, and muscle complications, and breathing difficulties. Combating the condition should largely involve prevention strategies such as adopting a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.

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References

Ash, T., Agaronov, A., Young, T., Aftosmes-Tobio, A., & Davison, K. K. (2017). Family-based childhood obesity prevention interventions: a systematic review and quantitative content analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1). Web.

CDC. (2021). Childhood obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

Kelishadi, R., Roufarshbaf, M., Soheili, S., Payghambarzadeh, F., & Masjedi, M. (2017). Association of childhood obesity and the immune system: A systematic review of reviews. Childhood Obesity, 13(4), 332–346. Web.

Poh, B. K., Lee, S. T., Yeo, G. S., Tang, K. C., Noor Afifah, Ab. R., Siti Hanisa, A., Parikh, P., Wong, J. E., & Ng, A. L. O. (2019). Low socioeconomic status and severe obesity are linked to poor cognitive performance in Malaysian children. BMC Public Health, 19(S4). Web.

Weihrauch-Blüher, S., Schwarz, P., & Klusmann, J.-H. (2019). Childhood obesity: increased risk for cardiometabolic disease and cancer in adulthood. Metabolism, 92, 147–152. Web.

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NerdyTom. 2022. "Discussion of Child Obesity Condition." November 21, 2022. https://nerdytom.com/discussion-of-child-obesity-condition/.

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