Food is a very important thing in our life. It gives us all the nutriments and vitamins we need for a healthy life. Sometimes people don’t pay enough attention to what they eat. They just enjoy good meals and that`s all. But it seems to be the main problem of the modern society. This is the problem that leads to obesity. The worst is that it happens more and more in children. Childhood obesity is considered a global disease that is rapidly spreading around the world. Also, it is a very serious issue, which can lead to many health diseases and social consequences, which can continue later in life. Overweight and obesity indicate the excess weight that a normal and healthy person should have. “What is the right weight for my child?” is the most common question parents ask. That question seems to be a simple one, but it is not always easy to answer. Every child has a different body type and so you cannot give a one-type-fits-all weight that parents need to think of as desirable. Kids with the same height and age may be different in the amount of muscle tissue they have. It is important to keep in mind that children develop and grow and different pace. The implementation of obesity prevention programs is a great way to improve the overall understanding of the problem, especially for the parents.
Obesity usually begins in childhood, between the age of 5 and 6. Obesity is excess body fat. Others define obesity in children as body weight which is at least 20% higher than a healthy weight for a child of that height. It can also be a body fat percentage above 25% in boys or above 32% in girls. The paper will discuss the long-term effects of obesity and how it can be prevented.
Obesity is a common disease with profound disturbances of metabolism. The basis of obesity is a metabolic disease. This is a disease when the process of the formation of fat as a nutrient prevails over the processes of its disintegration. Usually obesity is a result of eating too much, but sometimes it may result from hormonal disorders. From year to year the amount of people who suffer from excess of fat is increasing. As for children, the number of those who suffer from obesity doubles every three decades. We all know that sound nutrition for a pupil is a guaranty that he/she will develop properly, get a necessary doze of microelements and vitamins, so he/she will show good results of intellection and progress in studies. Children of primary school should have a strict daily regime which includes regular intakes of food. A child should eat no less than four times per day. But if dietary habits are not regular, the production of gastric juice may disrupt the functioning of the digestive system and metabolism, which will subsequently induce gastritis or ulcer. But food must be not only regular but also safe.
“The proportion of young children who are overweight or obese has increased about 60% in the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) says in a new report. The WHO says that in 1990, 4.2% of kids under age 5 were overweight or obese, but that figure grew to 6.7% in 2010” (Hendrick).
For some parents it is difficult to identify obesity in their child. There are different methods of identifying it. One of the most common is a graph where parents can easily see the proportion between the height and the weight of their kid. Thanks to this graph it is obvious what must be the weight of a child depending on his/her height. One the advantages of this method are that it is easily accessible. Each parent can use it at home by searching thought the internet without any doctor`s consultation.
In many cases such disease as obesity may arise from the disturbing dietary habits if the meal consists of a great amount of sweets, bakery or fast food products. Today obesity occurs in every fifth child. This sad statistic is formed by the parents as the child is either forced to eat in large quantities, or simply allowed to do it in his/her own. The more a child eats, the more it expands the stomach which in time begins to demand more food for saturation. Obesity in primary school children appears because of lack of domestic control. A child enters the world of independent decisions too early. For example, a muffin eaten every day in the break between the lessons, giving the breakfast up and prefer hot dogs or any other snack will provoke obesity. Everyone can notice the tendency of the growing number of children eating more and more away from home. Today fast-food is a choice number one. This decision often leads to a growing number of calories consumed and of course to the obesity. Unfortunately we don`t have enough will to withstand the advertisements about tasty and appetizing hot dogs, sandwiches, fried potatoes, chips and many other fast-foods. These foods are very easy to acquire but it is difficult to get rid of the weight and return to a normal state.
One of the causes of obesity in primary school children is a hereditary disposition to it. This is the decision of many parents who abandon the rules of good nutrition and force a child to eat everything put in a bowl. The child, unlike adults, can control his appetite and has a great sense of saturation. So when he says that after several eaten spoonfuls he is satisfied, then it really is. These adults can stuff in all the products that are on the dinner table, to the point where it is hard to breathe. Primary school children need much less food, so do not offer them the same size portions as you eat. Of course if children consume more calories than they need, they will start gaining weight. “Consumption of just 100 calories (the equivalent of 8 ounces of a soft drink) above daily requirements will typically result in a 10-pound weight gain over one year” (Swartz 57). However, genetic factor is important as well. So if the kid has an obese parent or sister/brother, he is likely to become obese as well.
Last but not least is physical inactivity. We live in a generation of television, computers and video games. This means that children prefer staying at home, playing video games and sitting in front of a TV screen. That`s why our kids move less while physical activity is needed to burn calories. Also there is a tendency among parents against staying at home with their children. Our modern parents are so busy that they`d better let their infant gain weight and leave them alone than be occupied with them, taking trips or doing sports.
Childhood obesity can have a harmful effect on the body in a variety of ways. Children with overweight more often have high blood pressure and high cholesterol that are known to be as major factors for cardiovascular disease. “In one study, 70% of obese children had at least one CVD risk factor, and 39% had two or more” (Whitlock 123).. As the result of obesity may be the problems with the joints and bones as well as headaches and vision problems, hypoventilation, gall bladder disease, polycystic ovary syndrome. “Obesity increases the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes which is normally a disease seen in later life in adults” (Macnair). It is important to remember “that obese children and adolescents have a greater risk of social and psychological problems” (Dietz 518).
Treatment and prevention
The most important thing is to slow down or stop weight gain. Sometimes it takes months or even years to achieve this goal but hope must not die. However scientists assert that preventive measures must be taken starting from the period when a child is in the mom`s stomach because if the mother eats excessively, the child and she herself are gaining weight. Obesity is treated by severe diets and limitation of nourishment habits. Your main goal must be the improvement of your health. In many cases a person is unable to achieve such a goal. In such cases a team of professionals is there to help out. There exist a variety of specialists who can help you. It is important to consult a doctor before starting your diet. He will help you choose those products that fit your personal needs. It must be remembered that each day a child should get a certain amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The main point is that the doctor control amount of food. For each human being the quantity of food needed per day will be different. It depends on the individual organism of a person. Some people can eat a lot of nutritious foods but keep their weight the same while others continue gaining it. Your doctor can tell whether or not you are overweight. A good professional will make a special scheme. It will describe what needs to be done and how much you should be losing every week. It is very important to follow this scheme and not ignore it. A succession and regularity are the means of treatment. If you break up one day and allow yourself even a little bit of change, it will cost you too much. All the efforts will be wasted.
The food must be chosen rather carefully while the diet must be quiet nutritious and healthy. It is effective to eat slowly as it will result in the feeling of fullness. There are different types of diets. Everyone should know what diet is best for one. There is a diet that is based on the consuming usual products but keep a balanced amount of calories. The 500 kilocalories per day need to be burned. In this way 450 grams will be lost per week. Another diet expects a consumption of 800 kilocalories per day. Thus the meal consists of low-calorie foods such as fish, chicken meat or lean meat. Nutritionists recommend eating brown bread rather than white bread. Vegetable soup may be a good substitute of one the main dishes. Whatever diet you choose, it should contain fruits, vegetables and low-fat products; however, snacks and sweets may be included if they are eaten occasionally and in moderation. Sodas must be replaced by fresh juices and cold water. “With comprehensive treatment, most teenagers can be relieved of the symptoms or helped to control eating disorders” (Collins 9).
First thing that parents should do is to make their children spend less time in front of the television. Children can choose the physical activity that they like and enjoy: tennis, basketball, running or swimming. Whatever the sport, it must not make the child exhausted. The activity must last for about 60 minutes every day but the main point is to continue this activity from day to day. If parents join their kids, the results will be achieved earlier.
Obesity is also a moral problem. Children feel unsafe when their friends are laughing at them for all the time. The reason is overweight. This may even lead to the social isolation while born in the same year will soon stop communicating with an obese child. That`s why there is another main point that cannot be missed – parental support. For each child the best example is their parent. So it is useful for parents to support their children by visiting the gym together or running each morning. It is so important for kids to see that someone understands them. Parents can even eat the same as a child that will reduce the appetite as out of sight – out of mouth. Kids need just someone to realize the problem and to find the ways of solving it. If we discuss with a child any problem, it “leads to the final step in the consideration of self-evaluation” (Fairburn 100).
Parents can also try to help to find good friends for their kid. In this case a child feels that someone of his/her peers understands him or her and friends not depending on the weight or the appearance. It is nice when friends have common interests so that they could visit gym together. It will be not only useful but enjoyable as well. However there are some cases when medical intervention is needed. Sometimes “it appears that drug treatments are more cost-effective in short term” (Silverstone 59). Specialist can identify what medicals will help o solve this problem faster. The are also some teas with the extract of pineapple or ginger. These kinds of teas will burn fats faster.
Obesity is a disease but we can prevent it. Parents play a very important role in the child’s life. Adults are those who influent the kids. Children are too young to control their wishes and understand what it means to be healthy. They cannot define what food is harmful and why one should avoid it. Usually they just choose what is tasty. That is why parents are those who must control the weight of their children. It is important to explain what foods can change their life forever. The earlier parents begin control over their kids the better results they can achieve. Any efforts require tolerance and persistence. If parents love their children, they won’t let them become obese. Everything depends on us.
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4. Macnair Trisha “Childhood obesity”. BBC Health Feb. 2009: BBC Online. Web. 27 Sep. 2007.
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7. Fairburn Christopher. Cognitive Behavior. Therapy and Eating Disorders. New York: The Guilford Press, 2008. Print
8. Silverstone Trevor. Eating disorders and obesity: how drugs can help. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2005. Print