Being overweight is one of the major health problems among the youth of today. In the United States, the number of children becoming overweight is steadily increasing as they allot more time watching TV, playing video games, and surfing or chatting on the Internet (Nemours Foundation, n.d.). According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, from the latter half of 1970s to 2004, the pervasiveness of excessive weight among children 2 to 5 years of age rose to 13.9 percent from 5 percent.
Among children 6 to 11 years of age, it escalated to 18.8 percent from 6.5 percent, while it increased to 17.4 percent from 5 percent among those who are 12 to 19 years of age (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]), 2008). Thus, certain efforts were made by health and education experts to help parents encourage their children to engage in sports, exercise, and eat a healthy, balanced meal. After all, prevention is better than cure.
If not taken care of, the excessive weight can make children vulnerable to certain diseases like high blood, diabetes, and other health illnesses (CDC, 2008; Boyse, 2007). Many experts suggest that one of the ways to help these children to lose weight without sacrificing the food that they want to eat is to encourage them to engage in sports and other group activities (Weintraub et al., 2008; Nemours, n.d.; Boyse, 2007). By engaging in physical activities, it will not only help the individual shed body fat, it would also promote self-esteem (Weintraub et al., 2008). Being overweight is a result of imbalance between the food intake and the activities needed to spend the energies taken (Daniels, 1997).
It is characterized by an exceptionally large volume of body fat with respect to lean body mass (Stopka, 2005). To know if an individual is obese or overweight, his or her body mass index or BMI is computed (Stopka, 2005; Daniels, 1997). This method considers the proportionality of the individual’s weight to his or her height child (Stopka, 2005; Daniels, 1997).
The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) states that individuals with BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered as “overweight,” while those with a BMI of 30 and above is considered as “obese” (Stopka, 2005). A number of studies have discovered that that breastfeeding is associated with overweight children (Hediger, et al., 2001). Once a mother fails to nurture her child with the practice of breastfeeding, chances are that the child will become overweight in the future. Breastfeeding helps to lower the risk of obesity during the stage of childhood and adolescence (Hediger, et al., 2001).
Most cases of overweight among children occur during the adolescence stage when the transition from child to adult happens (Hediger, et al., 2001). The food intake is later on built up as fats if not properly burned out of the body (Hediger, et al., 2001). Fat distribution is also changed during this stage which also incorporates hormonal influences. The condition also varies according to gender. According to Heidger and his associates (2001), girls are more likely to be overweight than boys.
Most individuals on the adolescence stage are busy with their studies and participate in activities that will help them be informed and entertained. Many of them play video games and watch television after school as their own way of overcoming stress and pressures from school. While in the midst of these activities, they also munch junk food and drink sodas. As there are high amounts of calories in unhealthy food and drinks, they make children overweight (Collins, 2007).
The incessant rise of fast food chains, consumption of calorie-dense foods and taking too much soft drink bring out more energy intake (Collins, 2007). However, this would not be a problem if the child regularly exercises and participates in activities. Lack of necessary exercise and physical activities also causes children to be overweight.
When children eat more calories, they also need to burn more calories (Collins, 2007). Eating food that is detrimental to one’s health without enough physical activities to burn it will guarantee a child to be overweight (Collins, 2007). This is also said to be an environmental cause of obesity due to the technological means of entertainment available for children today. Collins (2007) calls this phenomenon as modern obesity.
Another cause of being overweight is the genetic roots of the child. The genes of the parents are inherited by children upon birth. Babies who are born to mothers who are overweight are more likely to gain more weight and are less active in actions (Collins, 2007). The metabolism of a child is also inherited from his or her parents.
Thus, an obese parent whose metabolism is slow would have children with slow metabolism as well (Collins, 2007). The family eating habits also play a great influence as to why a child becomes overweight. Preparing and laying too much food on the table causes a child to eat more. Shopping and buying unhealthy foods and calorie-rich items will also cause the weight of children to increase (Collins, 2007). Risks are always present once a child is overweight.
Chances are that the child will accumulate certain diseases most of which are related to too much calorie, cholesterol and sugar intake. Bone problems are also expected for overweight and obese individuals. The social development of a child is also affected because of being overweight. The overweight children may find it difficult to breathe.
Obese children are often inactive and lazy to do physical activities. This causes their hearts to weaken. With their relatively weak heart, it will pump harder than the normal sized individual. This condition is commonly known as cardiovascular abnormalities (Daniels, et al., 1997).
Another cardiovascular abnormality that occurs in overweight or obese individuals is the escalation of blood pressure. When a child is obese, the blood pressure is more likely to increase. These cardiovascular abnormalities usually lead to a disease known as left ventricular hypertrophy which is a prevailing condition among obese and overweight children (Daniels, et al., 1997). This disease is characterized by an “increased left ventricular mass,” along with “lean body mass, fat mass and abnormalities in the systolic blood pressure” which predicts the accumulation of diseases such as “coronary heart disease, stroke and sudden death” (p. 804).
Hypertension is also common for children with too much weight (Daniels, et al., 1997; Nemours Foundation, n.d.; CDC, 2008; Boyse, 2007). The disease Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is also common among overweight children with a BMI of >30 kg/m2, which in turn, according to adult normal, is counted as “obese. ” Based on the National Lipid disorders Education Program, acquiring this kind of disease as well makes them susceptible to cardiovascular diseases for instance a coronary artery disease (Daniels, et al., 1997). � Being overweight also causes a kid to older early. Generally speaking, an obese child’s body system develops quicker than those that have normal physique sizes.
Heavy female children also reach the pubertal stage before. This may be due to the fact that most heavy female children do not have challenging activity which can help them decrease their weight load. Since many foods used by obese youngsters are rich in oils and other essential fatty acids, they are also susceptible of having pimples, acnes and skin concerns (Nemours Basis, n. g.; CDC, 2008; Boyse, 2007). � Psychological and cultural problems are also present when a child is overweight. Probably the most common problems on this is usually depression. When a child develops bigger than his or her peers, he or she is very likely to be humiliated and tempted in school for achieveing a different body shape.
This is a delicate issue which the child may find hard to overcome. In addition, it results in the child’s low self esteem and negative do it yourself image (Strauss & Pollack, 2003; Nemours Foundation, d. d. ). The normal discussion towards other children is usually limited for that reason. More often than not, over weight children possess fewer close friends and their cultural life is limited to those who accept them because they are.
Obese children are more likely to work rather than head out and play with other people. They are isolated that makes them suffer from depression, lonely, and stressed out. Teasing overweight kids is also considered associated with increased suicidal traits out of frustration and depression. Their particular condition triggers them so many complications physically, emotionally and developmentally (Strauss & Pollack, 2003; Nemours Foundation, and. d. ). � It is best to prevent being overweight rather than be sorry once a child becomes obese. This is not easy to do but it should begin since childhood days and nights.
This should be looked at especially for those who find themselves born to overweight parents. Behavior is also one good means of handling childhood obesity. Decreasing unhealthy eating routine and getting proper exercise result in a healthier human body and way of living. In addition , reducing stagnant physical exercises like watching television and games will also decrease the chances of being obese. � Restricting the intake of unhealthy calories will also quit one coming from being overweight. Rather than drinking sodas and other carbonated drinks, children may go for drinking fresh fruit juices.
Fresh juices are more healthy instead of synthetically made state of mind. Drinking the recommended range of glasses of drinking water a day (8 to10 glasses) will also aid in replenishing misplaced water in your body and digesting food quickly, and therefore, stop all those oily food and huge amount of calories from getting caught in the body. Your children should also always be advised to avoid eating dishes in fast food restaurants, in which the meals served contain preservatives and a lot of food extenders that have even more calories (Matheson et. ‘s., 2004).
Father and mother should also encourage their child to enjoy home prepared meals and convince him or her that these meals are more delicious than those that can be bought outside. (Matheson et. ‘s., 2004). This will also assure parents which the food ingested by their child is clean and well-prepared. The parents should also end preparing significant servings for their child, while this excites a child to eat more and makes him or her constantly expect precisely the same size of offering every meal time (Matheson et. ing., 2004). They should also limit the inactivity of children by giving them timetabled time for television set and playing computer games (Matheson et. ‘s., 2004).
It will likewise help if a child is inspired not to consume and watch simultaneously. Too much give attention to the television program makes a child unaware to the amount of food already consumed. � For tough cases just like gene-related unhealthy weight, it is important to counter this by doing physical exercises. Regular exercise really helps to achieve very good digestion and good metabolic rate. Physical activities such as “biking, strolling, and swimming” can also be finished with the whole family.
These activities likewise help brings the center in good condition. Playing ball video games also stops being overweight helping children become more sociable toward their colleagues (Campbell ou al., 2001). Basketball and soccer are some examples of sports activities which can help over weight children drop and maintain their weight. As well, by participating in these kinds of group activities, they are going to enjoy themselves with their peers (Campbell et al., 2001). Indoor bodily activities like grooving will also support children lose fat (Campbell ou al., 2001). � Within a recent six-month experiment executed by Weintraub (2008) and her fellow workers among last and 6th graders, that they divided the 21 members into two groups.
The first group received a health education program after school, as the other was subjected to a soccer system. Midway through the study until the end, a significant decline in BMI was found amongst participants inside the soccer group as compared to individuals who were in the health education group. In three months, there was also a substantial increase in the everyday average and challenging physical activities amongst children in the soccer group. The authors concluded that making overweight and obese children participate in an “after-school sports program” is known as a practical, reasonable, and successful method to control the pounds of these children. Excessive fat increases the likelihood of children to get fatal conditions such as heart problems and type 2 diabetes.
Being overweight also negatively influences their self-pride and self-image, leaving all of them depressed as a result. Encouraging these to eat a balanced diet and do physical activities just like family and university sports can aid overweight children in shedding and keeping a standard pounds. This is an excellent opportunity not simply for the children but for all the family to stay match and effective.
References: Gathered April 15, 2008 from http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/obesity.htm Campbell K, Marine environments E, O’Meara S, & Summerbell C. (2001). Concours for protecting against � Recovered April 12-15, 2008 by http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/ � http://www.annecollins.com/obesity/causes-of-obesity.htm Daniels S. Ur., Khoury P. R., & Morrison L. A. (1997, June). The utility of body mass index like a measure of body fatness in children and adolescents: variations by race and gender.
79 (6), 1088–1094. Gathered April 14, 2008 through the AJCN Databases. from http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/general/body/overweight_obesity.html Hediger M. L., Overpeck M. Deb., Kuczmarski L. J., & Ruan Watts. J. (2001).
Association among Stopka, C. B. (2005) Chapter 18: Students with temporary problems and other Archpredriatics Database. Weintraub, D. L., Tirumalai, E. C., Haydel, F., Fujimoto, M., Fulton, J. E., & Johnson, T. H.