Research Paper: Child Obesity

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¶ … child obesity is and what are the causes that have contributed in the past years to its spread. It also gives many references and explanations on adverse health impacts as well as negative mental impact upon children. In the end, several preventive measures have been given as suggestions including psychotherapies to help children alter their negative thinking resulting due to obesity.

In present world, priorities have greatly shifted from one to many. What makes up a person now has collectively a large number of factors than what it had few centuries ago. One of the things that have changed in these times is the way people eat. Alternatively, more clear to say, the way people eat to live. Just as how many things have changed in the recent years to enhance and modify the lifestyles of people, food has also taken a new turn with its consumption (Ludwig, 2007). Obesity is a term that seems stereotypical now due to having its profound impacts on every individual's lifestyle, although having no simple efforts to deal with it, continues to plague the human body with diseases and gradual deterioration. First, the adults were seen to be victims of overeating resulting in obesity, nevertheless children are now becoming one of them, once again the reason being overeating and poorly controlled balanced diet. According to WHO researches, 67% of the total world dies out of obesity than of being underweight and so this implies that one part of this population carries a heavy weight-age of children. Another research of WHO conducted in the year 2010 concluded that more than 40 million children in the world under the age of five are obese. Child obesity in recent years have grown with quite a lot of margin, increasing concerns of parents and the society due to having its adverse impacts on the lifestyles of children, both mental and physical. It is not only how child obesity is continually affecting the health of children but their mindsets about their own selves which leads to vanishing dignity and self-confidence in their beings. This case is of serious issue as it continues to affect children emotionally and psychologically, causing them to become more sensitive about themselves. Child obesity is having profound adverse impact on health of children and their perceptions regarding appearance through pressures built by the social world.

When children are discriminated about their size and appearance, they tend to possess similar personality characteristics of people facing discrimination on race, ethnicity etc. which causes them to indulge in more sedentary activities, cutting off from the social world due to obsessive concern of self-image (Cassell & Gleaves, 2006).

Body:-

When there is a loss of balance between the intake of energy-enriched foods and consumption of energy, children start accumulating unnecessary fat in their bodies, which eventually results in obesity. Causes of child obesity are many among which fast food chains hold the top position but before pointing out how the fast food chains have successfully built their names in providing quality food that they claim, parents on the other hand are also fully responsible for letting their children delve into fast food delicacies and submit to overeating habit. Fast food chains are one major cause of spreading obesity among children because their food being healthy, hygienic wise are rich in elements that cause children to store up insoluble fats. These foods are high in sugars and salts that accumulate in certain areas of body and begin to grow with increased consumption of fat enriched foods. The changing lifestyles of families today have remarkably increased the need of fast food consumption. Many parents find it the best way to please their child by taking him or her to one of the renowned fast food franchise however; it is wrong what they are doing with their child's health. When this routine is adopted, children find it difficult to cut on the fast food consumption and the craving begins to grow over the period and intensifies when children reach to a certain age. That is when the fast food actually works in inflating the child with unnecessary fat stored in his body. Alongside these, children are losing the habit of physical activities, which is playing its part in causing more harm to their physical condition. Lack of exercise, playful activities, sports and sedentary routines are one of the major reasons why child obesity is increasing day by day. The lethargic condition among obese children is because the body to release energy does not break down their insoluble fat and exercise is one way through which they can regulate the deposition of fats in their bodies. In some cases, food additives such as artificial sweeteners have also seen to increase obesity in children when they eat sugary foods (Akhtar-Danesh, 2004). Food additives contain properties of salts and sugars that stimulate storage of insoluble sugar and fats in the body. The child's body is unable to burn down the deposition and thus becomes obese.

Although these may be the reasons for child obesity, there are certain determinants of the energy balance in children's body such as changes in food market, changes in built environment, changes in school and childcare, different genetic characteristics of families. (Christina Paxon, 2006). Changes in school and childcare refer to the eating system at schools and care takers institutes. The food needs to be looked after by specialists to propose how the consumption of calories can be made beneficial for children. Carbohydrate enriched foods are good only if physical education is introduced in the child's routine. Risk factors attached to child obesity are of serious nature. According to Richard K. Flamenbaum, obese children have additional risk of cardiovascular diseases, which include raised blood pressure, hyperlipidaema or hyperinsulinaemia (Flamenbaum, 2006). Alongside these, musculoskeletal disorders are also a result of obesity. These disorders include degenerative diseases of the joints and other malfunctioning of muscles and tendons. Endometrial cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer are also the reasons for childhood obesity. Diabetes is another health hazard related to child obesity. Type II diabetes specifically is common in children with obesity. Clearly, over the past few years many children have been diagnosed to possess this disease, which reduces their life span and increased death toll before the age of 55.

Psychological effects of child obesity are devastating for adolescents. When they are made aware about their physical appearance, it begins to trigger negative thoughts and building of poor perceptions about themselves. This causes social reclusion, driving kids to adopt sedentary lifestyle. Watching TV, not going out, abandoning social gatherings, and giving up physical activities with group such as sports are commonly seen characteristics by children with obesity. They tend to become more attracted towards food, which indirectly serves as a comfort for their agitation. Human psychology tends to find comfort in food and that is how children are more driven to eat sugary foods, which are also known to induce a feeling of 'well-being' when taken in. Thus, consumption is increased and they begin to accumulate fats and sugars in their body. These children are five times more likely to have low self-confidence, four times more likely to be lonely, three times more likely to worry about their appearance and future and two times more likely to consider themselves 'unwanted' by the society (Cassell & Gleaves, 2006). The obesity also leads to children being teased by their fellows or children of similar age around them. This results in depression and lack of self-esteem, thus deteriorating the basic personality needs of an individual, which makes him strong and capable in future. It has been proposed by researches and reviews that small girls, mainly those in elementary schools begin to get conscious about their weight more than other children do with normal weights. This brings in a feeling of body dissatisfaction leading to decreased self-esteem. They also begin to exhibit poor eating habits, which later on induce negative effects of severe weight loss (Butcher, 2006).According to a research; children with obesity have shown likelihoods of attempting suicides. Suicide is one way they find a solution to the problem they believe cannot be addressed. More than 300,000 kids over the year attempted suicide and according to reports, 17,000 children aged ten to fourteen have reportedly committed suicide in USA (Poskitt & Edmunds, 2008). The feeling of being put down and demeaned is what triggers children to take the action and many parents seem to ignore the fact that the problem occurs in their child's head and through counseling and proper care, they can help their child gain the confidence and belief in himself. Often the suicide attempts are a result of silent agitation in a child's head. He or she shows warning signs through his behaviors, which need to be observed by parents and people of concern around him (Bagchi, 2010).

Conclusion:-

The thesis statement proposes that child obesity implies adverse health and psychological effects upon children. Many reasons contribute to build the negative perceptions… [END OF PREVIEW]

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