Human beings undergo several developmental stages for a complete lifespan. People develop from the time of conception until they finally die. As children grow, they are faced with health challenges in their lives. These health challenges can contain if parents take up their responsibility as parents. Some of the challenges can be contained before they pose danger to the child. Obesity for example is a disorder that faces many children worldwide. It is a condition whereby the victim has overweight and accumulates more fats in the body. This condition affects about a quarter of American population. The most common eating disorders that cause diabetes include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Binge disorder is unique the victim eats even if he or she is not hungry. He entirely depends on food and any indication that there is no food irritates him seriously. Obesity greatly affects self esteem of an individual because of their concerns about the body shape and size. In case of a child, there should be a lot of emotional and psychological support. This can enable the child with others who are normal.
Clinicians have observed that most of the individuals with binge-eating disorders have an abnormal appetite and are willing to eat without control. A proportion of individuals with binge-eating disorder are clinically obese. Besides abnormal appetite, these individuals also suffer from problems of obsessive-compulsive behavior, depression and anxiety. Moreover, they show signs of post-traumatic stress disorders. They suffer from heart related diseases like heart failure and high blood pressure. Socially, children suffering from obesity always get rejection, teasing and exclusion from their peers at school. They may eventually affect their performance at school. Such children need psychological support to perform well at school.
Causes of obesity
Energy intake into the body is more than the energy used, the body is said to contain more calories than it needs. The excess calories are stored as fat thus causing a condition called obesity. Obesity is caused by poor lifestyles like over-eating fatty foods and taking sugary snacks. Use of too many sweets is also dangerous as it adds sugar contents into the body. It is common to find children enjoying sweets and fast food with high fat contents. Also, lazy behavior among children is another factor that contributes to the condition. It is rare to find children walking to and from school. This type of exercise that people ignore is very important as it helps to burn calories in the body tissues. As Susan puts it in her book, “They blame it at their habits and blame their weight problems on eating too much, too many sweets, or spending too much time in their cars.” She refers to the behavior of children whom she says are lazy and feed more than needed. Susan makes this clear by giving an example of Meagan and Christine Mattis. The students spend too much time on the television and computer and hardly have time to spend in playing. Also, a mother can contribute to her child having obesity, depending with her feeding habit during pregnancy. It can also be contained in an individual’s gene make-up, hormonal imbalance in the body and bacteria in the gut. It is also worth noting that even skipping breakfast can put one at risk of getting obesity. Some scientists claim that obesity is predetermined in the DNA, although this has not been proven. Basing my argument on Susan’s book, a close look at Meagan’s lifestyle indicates clearly what exposes children to overweight and related disorders; their lifestyle.
Although at school the PE teacher exposes the children to various physical activities, their eating habit has not changed. Most of the students still take sugary and fatty foods like chicken, spaghetti and ice- scream. Riding a bicycle to school is a problem and instead of the parents insisting on what is right, they drive her to school. At school, her friends offer to give her hot chocolate and willingly take although she knows her condition. In spite of that, Susan says that Meagan is lucky for she has educated parents who care about her health and control the kind of food she eats at home. This is an indication that most parents do not know that it is the habit of their children that expose them to risks of being obese. Meagan knows good eating and exercise habits although with difficulties, especially at school. Her dietician advised her on the best feeding habits but she still gets tempted to go against the advice when she is at school. Unlike her friends at school, Meagan is a bit choosy on the type of food she takes; she avoids fast foods. In addition, does a lot of exercise at school.
Effects of obesity to the society.
As any other disorders, this condition has its own effects on the victim and the society as a whole. First, the individual is at risk of getting cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is dangerous and can be fatal. Also, such a person often suffers from depression and stress. Overweight children may not find it easy to do physical jobs. This makes them dependant on others for their daily life. The disorder also causes sexual dysfunction especially in males. It can be an embarrassment when the body turns shapeless as a result of obesity. It may cause psychological torture especially to overweight girls. Susan observes that this condition is common in children between the age of 6 and 11 years. At this age the physical change among the children is a sensitive issue that, any abnormal physical change can make a child withdraw from the peers. The peers often bully, tease and ostracize them and this can make them lose self confidence.. Economically, obesity increases the expenditure of the country and the society at large. Money that the government could spend on other areas of development are channeled into treating people suffering from obesity and related disorders.
Prevention of obesity among children.
The governments of the world should declare obesity as an emergency. This is because of the unbelievable number of children with the disorder. In the US alone, about a third of the children suffer from the disorder. It is a threat to the future generation as the children are the future generation. First, Physical Health Education in schools must be strengthened to ensure that children get physical exercises at schools. Besides, parents should take their rightful role and give the children the best. They must ensure that the children do a lot of exercises to reduce their chances of gaining weight. This can be done through play, a walk to and from school and engaging the children in helping in the house chores. Girls in particular should not shy away from physical exercises as it helps in burning the calories that accumulate under the skin to form fats. Susan also attributes the unborn baby’s chances of getting obesity to the behavior of the mother during pregnancy. The type of food the mother feeds on, the exercises she does and the gene make-up of the mother determines whether the baby will be obese or not. Therefore, it is important that expectant mothers control intake of calories. They must also do a lot of exercises during pregnancy. After the birth of the child, the mother should decide on the best feeding habit for the baby to reduce chances of developing obesity. Research reveals that a child who is exclusively fed on breast milk has less chances of becoming an obese. When finally the mother introduces the child to solid food, the foods gradually form the feeding habits of the child throughout his life time. As such, parents have a greater responsibility of forming correct feeding habits. The governments of different countries affected should introduce civic education on nutrition. Research has indicated that most people eat food with a lot of calories unknowingly. This is because they have little knowledge about nutrition.. Therefore it is important to educate such a population the value of correct nutritional practice. Meagan’s parents portray a perfect example of parents’ role. Although they also find it difficult to control Meagan’s behavior at school, they took it upon them to ensure that Meagan doesn’t increase her weight by controlling her eating habits.
In conclusion, obesity poses danger in our future generation. This condition can be controlled and put to a stop if we change our ways of life. In US, the condition affects almost a third of the population of the children. This is a worrying trend since a ‘fat generation’ as Susan puts it, is not a healthy generation. This condition is also common in Canada and industrialized countries worldwide. The W.H.O. estimates that over one billion people are globally overweight. It is vital for people at personal level put a spirited fight against this condition to bring obesity to a stop. The NGO’s like the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) should continue fighting and educating the public about good eating habits and healthy lifestyle. Exercise is very important to children. School curricula must embrace physical education as one the areas of study in schools. Moreover, just like any other subjects taught at school, physical education must be taken with the seriousness it deserves. It is the only subject that has direct impact on the health of the student. Susan portrays Meagan’s school as an example of schools that give students wholesome academic curricula. Civic education on nutrition should be intensified to help reduce cases of overweight related diseases. This should aim at educating the public on the general practice of food and nutrition. Another important way to curb incidences of diabetes and obesity is to educate expectant mothers on food, nutrition and exercise. They should ensure that their habits do not endanger the life of the unborn. Overeating sugary foods and taking of sweets a way leading to a town of diabetes and obesity.
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