Childhood obesity has been on a steady increase in the US resulting in a decline in child health since children who are obese are at increased risk of physical as well as psychosocial health consequences. Ogden, Carroll and Flegal (2008) reveal that by 2008, the prevalence of childhood obesity had risen to a shocking 19.6% for children aged between 6 to 11years.
This is alarming considering the fact that 70% of obese children grow into obese adults. Obesity brings about negative implications on the health of the individual since it is associated with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It therefore reduces the quality of life and shortens the lifespan of the person.
In addition to the physical healthy implications, obesity may also result in depression due to the psychological abuse that the obese individual suffers. Wardle, et al. (2006) highlight the fact that obesity is a stigmatized condition which results in social exclusion as well as discrimination.
Considering the negative implications of childhood obesity, it is important to come up with solutions to the problem. However, before a solution can be proposed, it is important to highlight the major causes of obesity. While obesity can be attributed to a number of causes, the condition is mostly limited to people who overindulge in unhealthy food and exhibit limited activity.
In the US, childhood obesity levels are closely linked to the lifestyle adopted by the children. Andreacci et al (2007) declares that the increase in sedentary behaviors and decrease in physical activity have been related to the rise of obesity in children.
As can be seen, childhood obesity is a major problem and solutions must be come up with to restore the health of the children and avoid the negative future implications that obesity brings. Proper dieting is one of the means through which obesity can be combated in Toledo.
The CDC (2009) highlights the need for provision of nutritional education guidelines to school-age youths so as to ensure that health lifestyles are adopted early in life and perpetrated all through adulthood. Another means of conducting obesity is by presenting children with opportunities to take part in physical activities both in school and at home.
At school, physical education should be made mandatory in the school curriculum and all students should be required to participate. In the community, parks and recreational spaces should be made so as to encourage a healthy lifestyle by the children.
Childhood obesity is a major issue facing the US and it should not be taken lightly. Obesity not only results in physical health complications but it also causes psychological distress.
This diminishes the quality of life for the child. Even so, there are solutions that can be used to counter childhood obesity. These solutions, if effectively implemented, will result in the improved health of the students which will be beneficial since it will improve the quality of their lives.
Andreacci, J.L., et al. (2007). “Validation of Sensewear Pro Armband to Assess Energy Expenditure during Treadmill Exercise in Children 7-10 Years of Age”. Journal of Exercise Physiology. Vol. 10 no. 4..
CDC. (2009). Guidelines for School health Programs to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00042446.htm
Ogden C.L., Carroll, M.D., & Flegal K.M. (2008). “High body mass index for age among US children and adolescents, 2003-2006”. JAMA. 2008;299:2401-2405.
Wardle, J., et al. (2006). “Depression in Adolescent Obesity: Cultural Moderators of the Association between Obesity and Depressive Symptoms”. International Journal of Obesity, 30, 634–643.