Childhood Obesity and Weight Problems - Consequences, Cause & Prevention of This Problem!

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Childhood Obesity and Weight Problems

Childhood Obesity and Weight Problems

Childhood Obesity and Weight Problems

The Problem of Obesity in Children

Obesity is a growing fear in this era today. Though it was earlier just concerned to adults, now it has started affecting children as well. Obesity means to have excessive body fat. It is different from being overweight. The root cause as a research suggests is the lack of physical activity involved in a child's daily routine. Also they are constantly suffering from healthy eating habits. As junk food is gaining popularity with taste buds loving its deliciousness; health problems are increasing at an alarming rate. Obesity can also be because of hereditary reasons, metabolism and the life styles they are engaged to. It is likely to impose both short term and long term repercussions on the health of the child. Its severity cannot be ignored. They are likely to be affected with high blood pressure at a tender age leading to cholesterol issues and diabetics. Being overweight can seriously affect their lower body as well. This can also cause the liver to be inflamed causing critical health disorders. According to a research conducted by the American association; it was seen that majority of the pediatricians deal with Childhood Obesity as a major problem with their child patients. Moreover obese children are likely to remain obese adults as well. Hence, it becomes all the more important to inculcate a sense of health consciousness amongst them to ensure they build a healthy routine for better living. (Caprio, 2008) .

How does it affect the nursing practice and the healthcare system?

Since it is a major concern in this era, it is likely to impose serious burden on the shoulders of the healthcare providers and its system: (Stender, 2005)

  • Obesity may cause serious injury to children and thus an urgent need for medical care shall rise. Such serious injury has high chances of not recovering so fats in spite of best medical aid given.
  • Since children have low immunity and lower strength, they are probable to get affected with other common health disorders as well. Such disorders may cause healthcare system to be more cautious in conducting their examinations to ensure that obesity affected problems gets immediate attention and due care.
  • Obesity increases the need for medical services and attention. The costs of medical services increase especially when a health issue is concerned with an infant or a child. They are too small to understand the need of healthy habits in their lifestyle. Hence, they are likely to require more medication than others.
  • Hypertension and lower lipids are general problems that are seen to threaten children with obesity. Hence, their medical treatments and medicines are to be in stock in the pharmacy as they are of urgent requirement.
  • Such obese children are likely to occupy more of emergency rooms than usual.
  • Obesity is an incurable disorder. Though other associated problems may be treated, its medication is not an easy task. Operating such patients especially when they are too young is difficult and full of responsibility. Hence, their medical costs always tend to be much higher than other disorders.
  • Also, such child patients take extra time to recover and thus stay longer in the hospital. This affects the system as their room occupancy remains limited to such patients. They are not able to treat other patients in the mean while.
  • Childhood obesity is considered to be biggest epidermis of this generation. It is associated with more complexities and infection. Thus, the surgical outcomes and other medication tend be less effective and efficient. It is considered to affect their living in the long term sometimes leading to morbidity and mortality in the worst cases. 

Major Strategies For Addressing Such Problem Of Childhood Obesity

Since it is rightly said that charity begins at home, it is important that first action is taken at home by the parents themselves. This shall ensure that the strategies undertaken are religiously followed and strictly guided upon. Some of the strategies for its prevention are listed below:

1. It is necessary to instill a healthy lifestyle first than to treat them through medicines and other harmful medication procedures. Understanding the sensitivity of the issue is critical for the better future of the child.

2. A strenuous physical activity shall be included in their daily routine to ensure that they are active and sweat most importantly. The more active a child is in terms of physical activities, the lesser they are prone to obesity. Proper measures should be taken to help a child reduce their weight according to its height and age.

3. It is mandatory to keep a check on their food habits. Unhealthy and junk food should be avoided. Beverages should be replaced with homemade sweet limes and buttermilk. Processed foods are a complete threat to their physical as well as mental fitness. Hence, fresh fruits and vegetables should form a part of their diet.

4. It is necessary that the parents limit their television and similar technological entertainment options to ensure they spend quality time on necessary activities. Television and mobile phones allow them to sit more than the usual and gain extra kilos as well.

5. A child grows better when they have better and sound sleep. Hence, they should improvise on having their children undisturbed sleep for their healthy development. This shall reduce their stress as well.

6. There are numerous healthcare seminars that are conducted worldwide. Pediatricians are recommended to suggest their patient's guardians in attending such conventions with their children. A visual demonstration plays a major impact in a child's brain and is supposed to last longer. They shall actively understand the ill effects of eating unhealthy habits and would thus inculcate better steps with the combined efforts of their parents to ensure them lead a healthy and useful life without bitter medicines and painful injections. (William Dietz, 2007)

Thus, it can be seen that obesity in children is a major alarm that needs serious attention and efforts to prevent and treat.

As globalisation is taking place, Obesity and overweight has become a big issue all over the world. There are numerous reasons behind the major cause of obesity and overweight in primary school children. The epidemiology and etiology of overweight and obesity are mentioned below.

Etiology And Epidemiology Of Overweight And Obesity

There are certain causes behind the obesity and overweight among the primary school children. A study by Sahoo et, al., (2015) states that childhood obesity has become epidemic issue.  Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to cause non-communicable diseases such as, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a very younger age. The mechanism of obesity development is not fully understood and it is believed to be a disorder with multiple causes. As suggested by Davison et al., suggests that major risk factors for obesity include the consumption of diet, physical activity, and lifestyle habits.  The outcome of these factors is influenced by factors such as age, gender.  Genetics such as characteristics of the family, parenting style, parents’ lifestyles also play a role. An environmental factor such as school norms, demographics, and parents’ work-related demands also affects the influence of eating and habits such as activities. Firstly, consumption of sugary beverages at the age of 9-14 years can cause increase in BMI which is a significant factor for causing obesity. Moreover, a sugary drink are less filling as compare to food and consumed quicker and contains a high caloric intake. Additionally the snacks  and other fast food such as chips, baked goods, candies has been found to be the leading cause of obesity. The intake of large portion size of the snack which contains high calories can lead to weight gain and eventually, obesity. Not only this, the level of activity which is highly linked to the sedentary lifestyle. The every hour television watching also raises the prevalence of obesity. Moreover, the TV watching is also correlated with numerous advertisements such as sweetened drinks, cereals, beverages, salty snacks. Media also changes the mind of the children via promoting their items such as burgers, pizza and other fast foods.  Apart from this, environmental factors also play a crucial role such as excessive television watching and use of electronic gadgets has resulted to the sedentary lifestyle. Socio-cultural factors such as society tends to provide food as a form of reward in many cultures as a method of socialising, it encourages the formation of healthy relationships with food which may eventually lead to obesity.  Family factors also play a vital role in causing obesity such as family habits, sedentary and level of physical activity which may influence the child. Additionally, family mealtimes such as consumption of food, type and amount matters a lot. Not only this, the family working such as both parents working is more likely to have a obese child due to uneven eating pattern which may lead to obesity. Besides this, Psychological factors such as when a child doesn’t sleep adequately with a disturbed pattern of eating and sleeping may lead to depression and obesity. However, this relationship is not unidirectional depression may be both a cause and an outcome of obesity. 

Intervention for Prevention Of Obesity And Overweight of Children

The intervention types  to reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight in primary school children includes preventing childhood obesity, promoting healthy eating behaviours, promoting physical activity, promote a healthy lifestyle and to promote a positive body image towards a healthy life. A study by Karp & Gesell (2015) states that the rate of obesity has doubled across the world and there is a high need to  address the issue of obesity and overweight in primary school children which can lead to health crisis and many medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. At present behavioural factors such as diet, screening time, physical activity tends to be most amenable to alter the condition. Efforts are also made to improve the nutrition and to increase the physical activity in the children also; childhood obesity prevention and treatment programs can also be very helpful in changing the current situation of obesity and overweight. Additionally, the recommendations from organizations like the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) can help in encouraging the positive changes at both home and in schools to support healthy diet and physical activities for the children. The IOM has specifically called for schools to modify the norms and policies to provide adequate physical education and break time so as to meet established nutritional guidelines of the foods provided in schools. Apart from this, treatment such as weight loss can be helpful in controlling obesity and overweight. Secondary or intermediate outcomes such as, behaviour changes including the increase of physical activity or fruit and vegetable consumption or decreasing the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages, fizzy colas which usually makes a lot difference.

According to  Clarke (2016) schools can help in preventing the obesity and the long term complications such as schools offers many opportunities via creating environment and surroundings to prevent the issue  caused by overweight. The healthy eating and engagement in physical activities and games for the children. The physical environment, policies, curriculum and personnel provides an opportunity which can positively influence the child health and so school play a crucial role in developing the potential of children health. Teachers can motivate and can bring forward in the recreational activities for the healthy behaviour. Moreover, the school such as teachers as well as parents can encourage the child and can spread the awareness about the impact of good health and its importance via education also, the adequate supply of nutrients should be given to children in the schools during the time of meal with least oily and fast foods, sugary drinks, fizzy colas. Apart from this, school based childhood obesity prevention intervention programmes can be carried in schools which are more likely to be successful if they are comprehensive and multi-faceted. Support from the teachers and staff can help to implement the health promotion strategies and activities. Lastly, the support from the parents and family can help significantly to motivate the children to be more active and to eat healthy food instead of fast food and to engage in physical activities in spite of screen based activities such as, television, videogames, mobile phones, computers. Besides this, school based interventions such as to increase the fitness level among the children age group 6-18 years which definitely has the positive impact. Reduction on television watching should be imposed rather than involve them in playing. The nutrition based interventions like promote the healthy eating in children has found to be a strongly linked to prevention of obesity.  Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables can also help a lot. Besides this, the English primary schools care also contributing in promoting the healthy lifestyle behaviours which is vital for prevention of childhood obesity.

Parents can Help to Prevent from Obesity And Overweight of Children

Families or parents would have a vital role in this intervention initiative. Since, parents or the family is the first point of contact for children, it is important that parents develop good and healthy habits. Teachers come at the second place of contact for pupils; correct education would have a positive influence over eating and physical activity habits. Then the school authority, it must ensure that the teachers are on the correct path. Finally the local community; people in local community also has a vital role to play in this context. A community that is filled with health concerns would have typical influence on the children, similarly a community that isn’t much concerned about health would also have likewise influence.

This Article explores

  • Childhood Obesity and Weight Problems
  • Problem Of Obesity In Children
  • Non-communicable diseases: Childhood overweight and obesity
  • Obesity and Overweight Of Children
  • Childhood Obesity The main of this Obesity Causes, Prevention & Facts
  • Childhood Obesity Causes & Consequences defined as major problem
  • Childhood obesity - What are the Symptoms and causes of childhood obesity?
  • Childhood Obesity: Causes, Risks, and Outlook of this problem
  • What are the causes of Obesity in children?
  • Obesity In Children And Teens is major problem or not?
  • What Are The Complications of Childhood Obesity?

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