Intervention for curbing obesity in children
The epidemic of children obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. Overweight children face risks of health complications such as hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic issues. Other issues that are caused by obesity include eating disorders and mental health issues such as depression. The above effects are serious and that is why interventions need to be adopted. The intervention will be a school-based intervention and it targets children from 4-15 years. Obesity is a result of different factors. The social, economic, biological, and cultural factors contribute to the obesity problem. Therefore, intervention has to be holistic in order to achieve the best results.
Children nowadays are lazy and inactive. Technological development has come up with different and unhealthy leisure for children. Gone are the days when most children enjoyed field activities. Children sit in front of computers, T.Vs, and their ipads playing games or watching movies while taking unhealthy snacks. Parents usually ignore obesity in their children saying that their weight will reduce once they are grown up. However, studies shows that obese children are likely to be obese for the rest of their lives if no intervention is adopted. Statistics show that the rate of obesity in children is increasing at an alarming rate. According to CDC records, children from 5-11 had an 18% obesity rate by 2010. While children from 11-18 had a 20% obesity rate in 2010 (CDC, 2010).
It is a school-based intervention. Children spend most of their time in school, and schools have stricter measures hence it can achieve better results than home based intervention. In school-based intervention, all children are involved hence, it motivates them. Schools establish safe and supportive environment for healthy behaviors. Children can learn about healthy eating habits and still practice them in school. However, parents have to be involved to.
The main aim of the intervention is to help these obese children lose weight. The intervention involves modification of diet and physical activity. There are different types of interventions such as home based interventions, primary care based, child based, community based and consumer health informatics based intervention. The school based diet comprised of the following; nutrition education, proper diet, healthy eating habits, parenting styles, educations and policies. The children will have physical activities in their schedules. Physical activity when combined with healthy eating habits will curb obesity. Through education, parents are taught on the best diet for their children, and policy will keep them in check such that all parents will conform to the dietary plans.
A behavior modification program is part of the intervention. For these children to lose weight they have to change their behavior and lifestyle. Behavior modification therapy has to be adopted. It involves counseling and addressing emotional concerns of these children. This will help them monitor their behavior and eating habits. Parents, environment, and culture play a big role in this intervention. Some environments are more tolerant to obesity; education has to be availed so that people can change their views with regard to children obesity. Models of behavior change the will be helpful include; theory of planned behavior, health belief model and behavioral learning theory (Gurung, 2006).
There are different intervention prescriptions that help in weight loss. The weight loss medication can achieve quick results when used alongside diet and exercise. Some of the intervention prescriptions include; orlistat, Lorcaserin, Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia), Rimonabant, Sibutramine, and Phentermine (Adipex-P, Suprenza). The intervention prescriptions help in reducing appetite, blocking digestion, and absorbing fats. However, it many negative impacts especially in children. These are young children and adopting such measures will not help these children to be healthy in the end. They have a life ahead and we cannot teach them to resort to medication, instead of disciplining themselves. However, children with extreme obesity and obesity related complications would be allowed mild medication. The intervention prescriptions will not affect the intervention program.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Childhood Overweight and Obesity, Updated March 31, 2010a, found at <http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html>
Gurung, Regan A. R. (2006). Health psychology: a cultural approach. Thomson Wadsworth
Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association 2012; 307(5):483-490.
Viner, R.M., Hsia, Y., Neubert, and Wong, I.C.K. Rise in anti-obesity drug prescribing for children and adolescents in the UK: a population-based study. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2009.03528.x