Issue Of Childhood Obesity Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Issue of Childhood Obesity.

Answer:

Introduction

A few years ago, the issue of childhood obesity was not a problem to discuss because many children were not experiencing this situation. Most of our parents and grandparents did not inquire their children’s weight at school age, their children back at home or those children they came across in their location. The reason is that their children were eating from the dining table and they had time to play outside particularly most of them played the entire day. The issue of weight has changed since that time because of the introduction of fast foods, Xbox games and play station which make children inactive and remain indoors, and finally, they become obese (Wright & Aronne, 2012). The key contributing factors of childhood obesity is the fact that children never engage in active activities or playing outside like in the past yet they eat unhealthy foods such as snacks and fast foods like fries and others. The population at risk regarding the issue of childhood obesity is those children between the age of 6- 11 (Papoutsi, Drichoutis, & Nayga, 2013). This paper seeks to review the issue of childhood obesity, explain the reason why it is a significant public health issue, interventions and preventions are also explained. Last, the paper states the recommendations based on childhood obesity.

Problem description

The issue of childhood obesity is all over the world and America is the leading nation where most people are obese and close to becoming obese. Evidently, the problem of childhood obesity is largely grown in the United States in just two decades, where obesity on the population at risk has doubled. Additionally, obesity is associated with many disorders as well as conditions during adolescence such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Entirely, almost 25 million children in the United States are obese. This discovery done by researchers is distressing to many citizens in America, and it has instigated several debates on ways in which people can control the issue among children and young adults (Lakshman, Elks, & Ong, 2012). The issue on childhood obesity is trending everywhere, and there are adverts concerning it on electronic media. Childhood obesity is a very famous problem on mainstream talk shows where even Oprah includes it as an episode at least once every term. At least every individual knows a child who is obese and living unhappy, and the rate is increasing every time. The issue of childhood obesity may be instigating by emotional, physiological and familial features although there is a small ratio caused by genetic factors (WHO, 2016).

Current Evidence-based Health Promotion Interventions and Approaches

According to Rajalakshmi Lakshman, MD, PhD1, Cathy E. Elks, PhD, MPhil1, and Ken K. Ong, MB BChir PhD1 (2012), family pediatricians and physicians have a chance for early identification of obesity and overweight through predictable physical check-ups. Nevertheless, currently, the evidence states that primary care-based management lacking interventionist backing is not enough in order to manage childhood obesity. Primary care based intervention is likely to be more efficient when implanted at a greater intensity by a professional interventionist. Additionally, adolescent females taking part in a weekly group sitting for a period of three months shadowed by two weeks meetings for two months lessened self-effacingly, not importantly, in BMI elements associated with normal care control collection. An additional intensive examination that accomplished in primary care that concentrated on physical activity and diet habit change in both parents and preschoolers demonstrated higher loss of weight compared to control. Therefore, any treatment which is delivered in primary care should be the great intensity to be consistent and effective screening for obesity and overweight and appointment to evidence-based care provided in and outside the health center can be an optimal responsibility of the primary care provider. Gerards et al., (2012) suggested that lifestyle interventions are usually defined as dynamic treatments which concentrate on changing daily activity behaviors and dietary of children, targeting maintainable changes linked with health management of weight. The effectiveness of behavior intervention is reliant on many features: the most prosperous take a multi-dimensional method focusing on the diet, behavior modification and physical activity, are based on the family which targets on both the child and parent behaviors. Additionally, they are of adequate duration and concentrate on behaviors which are across the socio-environmental contexts. Randomized organized meta-analyses and trials have constantly confirmed the dominance of these multi-element behavior interventions above education alone or typical care situations for handling childhood obesity where family-based interventions show the largest impacts. Evidently, the US Preventive Services Task Force acclaims that doctors show screen the issue of obesity in every child over the age of 6 years and refer those who are obese or showing signs of obesity to intensive lifestyle interventions as well as counseling which targets physical activity, diet and behavior change (Endevelt et al., 2014). Over this population, the intervention based on family treatment has also shown effectiveness in children between the ages of 2-6. Notably, following the physical activity and diet targets, children over the age of two should stress improved consumption of vegetables and fruits, non-fat dairy products and low-fat, whole grains, fish, beans, and lean meat. According to Taylor et al., (2013), family-based behavioral treatment which is a multi-element lifestyle intervention focuses on the behaviors of both the parent and the child has steadily confirmed to be the healthiest intervention regarding childhood obesity. Research shows that FBT has shown both a big effect size as well as long-term conservation of loss of weight with toddlers decreasing the percentage overweight by 20 percent and impacts still important at ten years post-treatment (Sacher et al., 2010). Though some studies show that children tend to eat unhealthy when they are with their parents, there is no much report on this. Most parents watch their children’s diet, and they observe their physical activities. The exercising and eating behaviors of children mostly happen primarily around the home surrounding, and the powerful predictors regarding obesity and overweight are those linked with home and parents. Thus, family based treatment targets to modify physical activity and eating behaviors of both the parent and the child with successive alters to the environments at home, and use the parents as the change agents. The treatment is concentrated on the issue of self-monitoring where parents are always on the lookout to monitor their children’s eating and exercise behaviors, using praises and positive reinforcement for children who obey the rules of eating and exercising.

Existing Gaps in Policy, Programs and Practice

The issue of preventing obesity and excess weight gain from early ages of a child is possibly the most consistent track to healthy weight, as treatment may be somewhat challenging despite the approaches taken. Prevention strategies comprise behaviors which have been linked with great increased weight in toddlers as well as adolescents, with a certain target on high-risk childhood populations. Looking at family-based treatment, it helps in preventing obesity regarding dietary intake, exercising, and eating behaviors are common elements of a healthy way of life and are comparable to the behavioral alters which are usually unified into treatment interventions (Siegrist, Hanssen, Lammel, Haller, & Halle, 2011). Additionally, primary care sessions are underutilized for preventive tracking and screening of child weight. Doctors are now diagnosing those children who are at risk of obesity and there is counseling which is offered to families affected by the issue on ways of addressing the situation so as to avoid great incidences of childhood obesity. The US Preventive Services Task Force acclaims that doctors show screen the issue of obesity in every child over the age of 6 years and refer those who are obese or showing signs of obesity to intensive lifestyle interventions as well as counseling which targets physical activity, diet and behavior change. Physicians are now on the lookout to screen children over the age of six regarding obesity and best treatments, interventions, and counseling is offered to parents and children. Early intervention for obesity, as early as the fetal phase, can be particularly significant for prevention. Increased parental weight pre-pregnancy as well as gestational gaining of weight has been linked with newborn adiposity and is the main risk feature for childhood obesity. In other words, parents should watch their weight during the period of pregnancy and they should go for regular checkups during this duration. Thus, interventions which target parent weight can be an efficient prevention method (Reinehr, 2013). When a pregnant woman is diagnosed to be obese or over weight, the doctors should advice the mother accordingly and direct her to the right intervention in order to reduce her weight before the baby is born. Additionally, breasting is an important preventative measure and mothers should be advised to breast feed their children continuously for a period of six months without introducing any kind of food during the six months. Breast feeding is significant for both the child and the mother and it prevent the issue of obesity for both of them. As a matter of fact, most studies do not include parents in the prevention initiatives yet they have a role to play in preventing childhood obesity (Vilallonga et al., 2017).

Recommendations

Focusing on family based treatment, the most common potential barrier of this intervention is the fact that parents are not always available at home to watch their children while eating and engaging in physical activities. As stated by researchers, staying indoors, playing video games and eating unhealthy food is the most common cause of childhood obesity and parents are not always around at home to encourage their children to play outside. Parents should always keep an eye on their children and ensure that they are eating healthy and engaging in physical activities. Whenever, they are not around, they should instruct other caregivers to watch their children pay outside and only give them healthy foods. Food such as snacks, sugary beverages should not be encouraged on children (Bhadoria et al., 2015). Notably, following the physical activity and diet targets, children over the age of two should stress improved consumption of vegetables and fruits, non-fat dairy products and low-fat, whole grains, fish, beans, and lean meat. Parents should advice their children to concentrate on reducing high calorie foods, high-fat, and eliminating or reducing sugar sweetened drinks like fruit drinks and soft-drinks. Additionally, they should restrict mild caloric to be effective and safe. At primary care intervention, most physicians do not focus on checking the weight of a child since most of them ignore the issue of overweight or obesity in children and think that most of them are not at risk of getting obese. Doctors should check the weight of all children as well as pregnant mothers in order to know whether they are obese or not. Physicians should be on the lookout to screen children over the age of six regarding obesity and best treatments, interventions, and counseling is offered to parents and children. Early intervention for obesity, as early as the fetal phase, can be particularly significant for prevention (Bhadoria et al., 2015). Additionally, breasting is an important preventative measure and mothers should be advised to breast feed their children continuously for a period of six months without introducing any kind of food during the six months. Breast feeding is significant for both the child and the mother and it prevent the issue of obesity for both of them. As a matter of fact, most studies do not include parents in the prevention initiatives yet they have a role to play in preventing childhood obesity (Gurnani, Birken, & Hamilton, 2015). Additionally, parents should watch their weight during the period of pregnancy and they should go for regular checkups during this duration. Thus, interventions which target parent weight can be an efficient prevention method for obesity. When a pregnant woman is diagnosed to be obese or over weight, the doctors should advice the mother accordingly and direct her to the right intervention in order to reduce her weight before the baby is born.

Conclusion

This paper seeks to review the issue of childhood obesity, explain the reason why it is a significant public health issue, interventions and preventions are also explained. Last, the paper states the recommendations based on childhood obesity. Family based treatment is effective in the intervention of childhood obesity. Parents should always keep an eye on their children and ensure that they are eating healthy and engaging in physical activities. Parents should advise their children to concentrate on reducing high-calorie foods, high-fat, and eliminating or reducing sugar sweetened drinks like fruit drinks and soft-drinks. Additionally, parents should watch their weight during the period of pregnancy, and they should go for regular checkups during this duration. Physicians should be on the lookout to screen children over the age of six regarding obesity and best treatments, interventions, and counseling is offered to parents and children. Additionally, breasting is an important preventative measure and mothers should be advised to breast feed their children continuously for six months without introducing any food during the six months. Studies should show the importance of breast feeding as well because very few of them concentrate on this area.

References

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