The percentage of overweight children in the United States has more than doubled in recent years. This has been noticed all around the globe. Comorbidities associated with obese and overweight are similar in children and adults. High blood pressure, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia are some of the consequences of being overweight or obese. Obesity in adulthood may be predicted using indicators from childhood, especially adolescence (Deckelbaum and Williams S11).
Obesity has been on the rise in the United States, beginning with pre-school infants and progressing into puberty. This increase has been observed in all ethnic and racial gatherings but some of these ethnic gatherings or groups are affected more than others. National Health and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES) of the United States have given a shocking statistics concerning the rate at which overweight is increasing. According to their report, 8% of the children between the ages of 4 to 5 in the United States are overweight. However, in the affected population, there are more girls than boys. In the research conducted in the last 20 years, the number of girls who are affected overweight is doubling while the number of boys affected is also increasing but at a slower rate (Deckelbaum and Williams S11).
Research has also indicated that in the United States, parents usually influence in shaping the early eating habits among the children which contribute greatly to their health. It is very unfortunate that these parents prefer spending on wants compared to needs because they believe that spending on wants is a way one can enjoy life more than on the needs. Because parents are in control of the food their children take when they are young, they are able to control the obesity rate among the children. Most pre-school children have been introduced to poor eating habits by their parents and this has led to being overweight. As much as parents have control towards preventing their children from being overweight, most of them have failed. Parents should get aware about their children’s overweight and do everything to prevent their young children from obesity (Baughcum et al. 1381)
According to American Academy of Pediatrics, children of the parents with low educational levels are more likely to be affected by obesity. Children whose parents have a low level of education are likely to be affected in the future by obesity because of lack of recognition from their parents.
Low-income earning families are the most affected by obesity. A report from Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) for obesity surveillance on the prevalence of obesity among young children aged 2 to 4 years from low-income families’ shows that 14.5% of the children from poor families aged 2 to 4 years in 2014 were suffering from obesity. The obesity prevalence varied from one state to another. In Utah it was 8.2% while in Virginia it was 20%. The Hispanics were the leading with 17.3%, the American Indians showed the level of 18%, the blacks showed 11.9% of children obesity, and Asians showed 11.1%.
Another research was conducted by the obesity society. It was found that the African Americans aged 5 to 10 are affected by the eating habits, as well as exercise habits. It was confirmed that children of this age who are affected did not have enough exercise, and also the eating habits were poor. The researchers blamed the parents for not being responsible for their children. The reason why parents underestimate children obesity was that they failed to connect between the childhood obesity, obesity in adulthood and the diseases involved with overweight.
Some of the reasons why health of a child should be greatly looked into include differences in culture, acceptance of large body habitus, insufficient knowledge concerning the relationship between childhood obesity behavior and health in the future.
Parents should bear responsibility for ensuring that obesity or the chronic diseases that are related to obesity are prevented. They also should inform their children about the health related risks caused by childhood obesity.
There is a number of ways that can be used by children and the adolescents in order to prevent obesity. Some of them include changing the family eating habits to help prevent overweight and encourage physical activities on most days of the wee. This will help to reduce weight and maintain appropriate body shape. Children should not watch TV for more then a few hours. They should be given food only when hungry, eat vegetables and fruits daily and drink a lot of water instead of other beverages and soft drinks (Young‐Hyman et al. 242)
In conclusion, obesity among the children and the adolescents is on an increasing epidemic rate, and it has led to severe health problems. People should hold hands together to prevent obesity, and this will have also prevented the adulthood obesity. We will achieve desirable results if we hold hands to fight this disease. The government should give a hand by funding the war against obesity, and a priority should be given to public health (Deckelbaum and Williams S11).
Deckelbaum, Richard J., and Christine L. Williams. “Childhood Obesity: the health issue.” Obesity, 9, 2001, p. S11.
Baughcum, Amy E., et al. “Maternal Perceptions of Overweight Preschool Children.” Pediatrics, 106.6, 2000, pp. 1380-1386.
Young‐Hyman, Deborah, et al. “Care Giver Perception of Children’s Obesity‐related Health Risk: Study of African American Families.” Obesity, 8.3, 2000, pp. 241-248.