Term Paper: Childhood Obesity

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[. . .] This implies that when the dietary treatment is stopped, weight regain almost always occurs.

The critical periods in the postnatal as well as the uterine environment pertaining to the development of childhood obesity have been identified by many researchers. Once these critical periods are well-understood by the midwives and nurses, it will be easier for them to devise ways for intervention and prevent the risk of childhood obesity in infants. Apart from the factors that have been identified in the beginning of this paper, recently attention has been given to the significance of the interaction between the physical and social environment with biology that is genes. Many epidemiological studies have suggested that there is a strong statistical connection between the maternal weight in pregnancy and childhood obesity and the development of chronic diseases associated with infant weight and childhood obesity. Researches and studies that have been carried out in the animals have shown that there might be a physiological connection between the weight of the mother when she is carrying the child and the risk of that child to develop childhood obesity (Hochberg et al., 2010). As the researchers have also identified the critical periods during the development of the fetus, they have also identified the insults or the negative factors that could alter the way in which genes are expressed and thus cause abnormalities in children that also includes childhood obesity. When the genes are not expressed in the normal way, there are alterations in the function and the structure of the tissues that can result in the long-term imbalance of energy resulting in increased adiposity (Olstad&McCargar, 2009). Scientists have called these changes as 'epigenetic' in which the underlying arrangement of the DNA does not change but the differentiation and growth of tissues are affected.

There are many approaches to address the issue of childhood obesity. One of the approaches that are in fact the most significant one is the involvement of the family. The center of the child's care and the core to the nursing of the child is his or her family. Family is not just the parents of the children but anyone who is related to the child or is close to them and significant to the child. According to the definition of the family that has been issued in the literatures is that family can be single parents, gay and lesbian couples, separated couples apart from the nuclear family of the person. Since children are mostly embedded within the system of the family, these children cannot be made to change their physical activities and their dietary habits if they do not get any support from their families to alter their lifestyle and eating habits (JD, 2010). This is the reason why the nurses make sure that their action plans and strategies to help the obese children involve their families and the approach are such that the family is able to look over their children. It is important to note here that if nurses and physicians want to see a significant change in weight of the children as well as their dietary and physical habits, they have to involve the families and convince them that their child might have to face miserable consequences if his or her habits are not changed. Ecological approach to the treatment of childhood obesity is probably the only one that can actually benefit the overweight and obese children. Ecological approach is the one that involves the home of the child, the family environment and the routine of the family that can play a very encouraging role in changing the lifestyle of the children. It is important to make sure that obesity is prevented at the very early stages since this can help to prevent any secondary diseases from developing in the children. The secondary diseases are often life-long and strongly impair the health and well-being of the children. These secondary diseases include osteoarthritis, heart diseases, and psychosocial problems and type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is worth noting here that cardiovascular disorders and diabetes are the two single most serious complications of childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity has so many implications that is now referred to as more than just a problem in children. Childhood obesity, with its increasing prevalence is now being linked to obesity that occurs in adults and the adverse effects it has on the health of the children as well that of adults. Children who are obese or even underweight are now being diagnosed with heart problems and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The reason why obesity is now being studied so extensively and methods of intervention are now being considered more seriously and many improvements have been made in these methods to make sure that the results of these approaches are beneficial for the treatment of childhood obesity is that this problem does not only affects the psychosocial and physical health of the children, but it is also a great burden on the economic and social development of the family and the country as well. Economic costs that have been associated with childhood obesity are anticipated to the rise. According to one of the estimates of this economic cost, the direct and indirect cost of obesity in the United States alone was approximately $139 billion in the year 2003 (Li and Hooker, 2010).

Management

Due to the upsurge of technology, there has been an increase in the rate of childhood obesity because the number and size of snack intake has increased and the level of physical activity has decreased in children. There is no doubt in saying that if children were more physically active there would less risk of them getting obese. It is the need of that time that children should give up on their electronic devices, at least partially and start playing and exploring the outside world so that their physical activity increases. According to study, children who use their electronic devises more than three hours a day have a 17-44% increased risk of becoming overweight and a 10-61% increased risk of developing obesity. Therefore, it is important for parents to identify the signs of obesity and push their children to increase their physical activity.

There are two ways to approach the management of childhood obesity. The first one is the prevention of childhood obesity when it is in the primary stages to prevent any secondary diseases from developing in the child and the second approach is to treat the obesity with medications and other treatments.

It is important for us to prevent childhood obesity because it has now become one of the leading causes of preventable deaths after the abuse of tobacco and statistics suggest that it might even take the rate of deaths and morbidities caused by tobacco in the coming years. In order to prevent childhood obesity, it is important for us to identify the causes and the factors that are responsible for this. One of the key factors is the environment of the home in which the child lives in that molds his or her dietary habits. If the child has always seen his parents eating non-healthy and junk food then he will automatically adopt the same habits. As it has been explained earlier that when children consume foods that are only rich in fat and have a high calorie content and there is much less nutrition then there is an increased deposition of excessive fats in the adipose tissues of the children that results in obesity if this happens for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the parents should encourage their children to eat healthy foods and consume vegetables and fruits in their diet. Moreover, parents should also restrict the intake of junk food by their children. Apart from this, parents should also make sure that their children do not become couch potatoes and that they exercise regularly and have adequate physical activity so that the energy balance does not remain positive for a prolonged period of time.

Now we shall discuss the management of childhood obesity once it has developed in the children. Yet again lifestyle has an important role to play in the management of childhood obesity. It is important for mothers to realize that only breast-feeding is recommended to fulfill the dietary needs of the infants since it contains all the beneficial effects for the health of the child and the nutrients that are required. As the infant grows up, parents need to make sure that they are feeding their child in proportion to their size and age of the child and also that the physical activity that the child is showing is adequate. These are the major ways that would decrease the level of childhood obesity.

As such, there are not precise medications that could be used for the treatment of childhood obesity. Sibutramine and Orlistat could be used for the management of obesity in adolescents. The former medicine has also… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Childhood Obesity.  (2013, February 23).  Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/childhood-obesity-becoming-prevalent/5592380

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"Childhood Obesity."  Essaytown.com.  February 23, 2013.  Accessed June 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/childhood-obesity-becoming-prevalent/5592380.