Inactivity as A Reason Of Child Obesity Essay

Obesity in children has been growing over the past several years and has become a major issue in our society. As an exercise science major, this is something we commonly see in our studies and we are taught how to try to prevent this in our future and current generations. The first topic I tried finding sources on was “child obesity”. Several things came up under the scholarly articles section, such as ways children should be eating healthier, how nurses are getting involved with schools to prevent obesity, and how lack of physical activity is a main reason for child obesity. After looking through the child obesity results, since physical activity and inactivity was showing up many times in the results, the next thing I searched was “child obesity and inactivity”.

In searching NC Live, I refined my search to pull from scholarly and peer-reviewed articles and checked to have access to full online text articles. My search results showed to have almost eight thousand articles on child obesity and inactivity. I began sorting through the articles to check for relevance to my topic. A lot of the articles came from professional journals such as the International Journal of Obesity and American Journal of Public Health. There were also a lot of articles based on actual studies. It was interesting to see that a lot of these studies were taken in places such as Canada, China, New Zealand, Europe, and the United States.

This article was published in a professional journal called International Journal of Obesity in 2001. It was written partially by S.G. Trost who is a Professor of Physical Activity at the University of Queensland of Technology in Australia in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Science and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation. He has written over one hundred and forty articles in peer-reviewed journals. S.G. Trost also has a PhD from the University of South Carolina. This article and study is important in my field of study because it shows the difference between obese and non-obese children who are physically active/inactive and their self-efficacy.

The purpose of this article and study was to show the differences of physical activity to environmental and psychosocial elements in middle school children who are obese and those who are not obese. During this study, the students had to complete a questionnaire to measure the environmental and psychosocial determinants of physical activity selected by the Social Cognitive Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior. Fifty percent of the initial study group was focused on children that were female and African-American. The study showed that age, weight, and height had no significant results, but African-American children were more prone to become obese in their childhood developmental years. It is also stated and found profound evidence that the students who were “obese” were less likely to consult their parents about being physically active and were less likely to overcome being inactive. The study concluded that compared to the non-obese students, obese students were not getting enough physical activity in their daily routines which contributed to them being overweight.

A major strength of this study was the researchers actually used a monitoring device to see the intensity and quantity of the children’s physical activity levels. Past studies used devices such as a pedometer and saw no differences between obese and non-obese children. Another strength was conducting a questionnaire where students had to record and discuss their actual physical activity levels. A weakness of this article’s study was there was no official data accumulated from the parents about their child’s physical daily routines. If there was evidence collected from the parents, they could have compared the student’s data to their parents. This study is important to my field because it shows a child’s inactivity is a major risk factor for a child to become obese. It also shows there needs to be programs for inactive children to increase self-confidence and for parents to learn how to get their children more physically active.

Tsiros, M. D., Olds, T., Buckley, J. D., Grimshaw, P., Brennan, L., Walkley, J., . . . Coates, A. M. (2009). Health-related quality of life in obese children and adolescents. International Journal of Obesity, 33(4), 387-400. doi:

This article was published in a professional journal called International Journal of Obesity. It is an authoritative article since it was written by Dr. Margarita Tsiros, who was awarded the Australian Commonwealth Government Postgraduate Award while she was preparing this review article. Margarita is also qualified author and an expert in her field with a PhD, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and a Bachelor’s of Health Science. This article is important in my field of Exercise Science because it is important how children view themselves and ultimately affects their overall health and weight. If obese children have a low health-related quality of life, which deals with their mental, physical and social well-being, then they are less likely to live a healthy lifestyle throughout adulthood.

Tsiros’s article focuses on the “Health-Related Quality of Life in Adolescents”, also referred to as HRQOL, which is technically a person’s insight on their well-being. HRQOL is majorly decreased in children and young adults. The article focuses on children and adolescents and their weight statuses, BMI, and folds in the skin. At the end of this article, it is concluded there is not enough information recorded and known about the decreased HRQOL in obese children. It also states in the article that parents have a large part in their children’s HRQOL and that future research should be done on both children and their parents.

This article has many strengths and a few weaknesses. One of the weaknesses that I noticed was that it really did not go into an explanation and give a definitive definition of “HRQOL”. I believe HRQOL could and should have been explained better to its readers. A major strength is that it focuses on how children see their quality of life and how parents truly are involved and responsible for their children’s well-being and health. Another strength this article proved is that as the child’s BMI is lowered to normal, their HRQOL increases and improved to a healthier lifestyle. This is very important in my field of Exercise Science to study and research to determine why some obese children’s HRQOL was at the same level as a person with cancer.

Waller, C. E., Du, S., & Popkin, B. M. (2003). Patterns of overweight, inactivity, and snacking in Chinese children**. Obesity Research, 11(8), 957-961. doi:

This scholarly article is from a professional journal called Obesity Research. It was published in 2003 by Waller, Du, and Popkin. Dr. Waller, MD, graduated from Duke University School of Medicine in 1998. She now works in Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC and specializes in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Shufa Du, MD, PhD, is a nutritional epidemiologist and has a long relationship with the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lastly, Barry Popkin, PhD, has worked all over the globe. He obtained his PhD from Cornell University with specialization in nutrition. In this article, all of the data was collected for the use of the China Health National Survey. This work is important in my field because it studies child obesity and inactivity to a different country. It shows how children differ in China from the United States and Mexico.

This article researched in China’s children’s inactivity and snacking levels which is a main reason for obesity in the United States and other countries. It shows that because of culture, physical activity levels and children’s diets are going to be different. Since China, at the time, did not have a great access to television and snacking, their children did not have the same levels of obesity as the United States and Mexico. In this article it states, children who watch an hour or less of television have the healthiest BMI.

In the article, a weakness it had was Waller, Du, and Popkin should have studied more countries such as Africa to see how their results would differ from China’s results. Also, since China did not have access to television, their inactivity levels towards children watching television was going to already be lower than the United States. A strength of this article is it states children who are watching more television and snacking are going to be more overweight than children who do not have access to the television. This is an important study to my major because it shows the weight differences between children who do not have the same culture or live in the same country. It is a very useful issue because we can study children from all over the world, compare their weight levels, and try to find different ways to prevent childhood obesity.

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