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Childhood obesity is a statement which should have sounded like an oxymoron to me. When a person thinks of being a child, he or she thinks of being carefree, happy and full of life. When one thinks of obesity, usually it is the exact opposite. Therefore, this topic was chosen due to the fact how vastly this issue is growing. The topic is extremely close since even close people may suffer such a disease. For example, a child being nine years old weighs 175lbs. It is really dramatic when people start thinking about such a child who is funny and loving but his health and future are at a great risk. People want to put blame on others like saying it is McDonalds or Little Debbie’s fault. The fact is that children are children so in order to get all this junk food they have to get it from their parents. It is agreed that McDonalds and Little Debbie are not good for a person but a meal or snack there will not make one obese. Probably, all the blame of such a child’s condition can be put on his parents. Quite frequently, in such a case parents are also obese and try not to take their child to a doctor because they clearly know that they are wrong and that probably doctors will “yell” at them since they are not an example. Even though some close people might try to intervene in such a scenario, still a child can be taken away since parents are the ones to take care of it and decide what is better for their child. This paper will discuss the huge impact that parents have on children’s eating habits (one of such aspects is eating habits accompanied by video games). As a result, emotional and social problems stem from childhood for those who suffered from being overweight. All this is clearly tied back to parents who namely create this problem.

Impact of Parents on Children’s Eating Habits

Once again, if one sees obese children, then, most likely, their parents are obese as well. A child knows that they are different but does not know how to fix this. It is the parents’ responsibility to give their children good nutritional food, to keep them active and to insist on changes implementation if children are not receiving the proper nutrition at school. Such meals as high processed and high sodium food are served in lunch rooms and vending machines are always filled only with candy and sodas. Overall, there is nothing wrong with vending machines filled with soda and candy. Usually, many people want those things during a day, but they are acknowledged of harmful effects and cease their consumption. However, children do not understand any portion control as well as the fact that one soda a week is ok but not three a day. It is also advisable that such machines should give children a broader selection in choices with water, juice and healthy snacks. All in all, any situations lead to a bottom line where parents are the root of childhood obesity.

In modern society children stick to play video games and eat anything that comes out of a microwave. This will lead to children obesity. However, the question is: who is to blame? Overall, children cannot predict their future as well as children cannot possibly know that eating a cake and an ice cream for dinner every night is not ok. In fact, parents are the ones who have to stand up for their children and for their own health and make a difference. If more parents took an active role in their children’s health, there would be fewer children who face weight problems (Brown, 2012).

The information on obese children is available everywhere one may look. Every commercial on the television talks about “high fructose corn syrup”, stressing that their product does not have it, plus only their product is healthy for children and tasty at the same time. Yet, thousands of children suffer from being overweight. This topic is so important for the entire world to understand since today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Eventually, everyone will end up being overweight. According to statistics, the amount of ten year old children who are obese has grown by twenty percent in twenty years; supposedly, this situation will even double in the next two decades (Warshawski, 2012).

Health and Risk Factors of Child Obese

There are so many health and risk factors that come with a child being obese. Undoubtedly, such a tendency must be stopped. These health factors include high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, elevated blood sugar, as well as a risk of diabetes type- two. Hence, parents need to be more aware of what is happening to their children. Cardiovascular disease – changes in heart rate, increased blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, etc – is one of the most drastic consequences of obesity (Warshawski, 2012). Up to 34% of obese children as adults are at risk of serious heart and vascular diseases. Among other risks, irregularities in the gastrointestinal tract (indigestion, tendency to gallstones formation), gonadal dysfunction (boys with obesity can suffer genital hypoplasia, and girls – menstrual dysfunction), problems of the central nervous system (sleep problems, increased appetite, thirst, headache, pain in the limbs, frequent changes of behavior, light mood changes, decreased performance), problems of the musculoskeletal system (change of posture, gait, flat feet, osteoporosis (bone depression), etc), low immunity, breast cancers, uterus, colon (obesity is the cause of these diseases in 11% of cases) can be mentioned (Health facts on childhood obesity, 2012).

Strictly speaking, not all excessive weight can be regarded as obesity. To characterize a condition associated with excessive deposition of fat, the researchers used two key concepts of “overweight” and “obese”. Under overweight exceeding standards of body weight in relation to height are established, but the deposition of fat is not outwardly expressed, and clearly does not occur. Excess body weight is considered as a risk factor leading to the development of obesity. Obesity is a chronic disease characterized by abnormally high increase of adipose tissue in the mass of a body (Hofferth, Curtin, 2005). The criterion for evaluation of overweight and obesity in children body mass (BMI) is calculated by dividing body weight (kg) on the growth of a body (m2). When BMI> or = 30, it is about obesity when BMI> or = 25 (Brown, 2012). The presence of overweight and obesity in children is assessed by the so-called interest tables which take into account the age and sex of a child. For example, on the basis of these tables, a 104 cm tall boy should weigh from 15.8 kg to 17.5 kg, and a girl of the same growth – from 15.5 to 17 kg, 3 kg (Brown, 2012). Since these tables are quite complex to understand, they are mainly used by doctors. However, parents can approximately assess whether a child has a normal weight by using the following variables: at the age of age 4.5-6 months, there is a doubling of body weight compared to a child’s birth weight, tripling is achieved by a year. Further weight gain should be about 2 kg per year, and during puberty can reach 5-8 kg. As we can see, in the course of child development fat depots (subcutaneous adipose tissue, gland, kidney tissue, etc.) are accumulated unevenly. Fat is produced intensively during the first 9 months. In this connection scientists distinguish three critical periods when an incidence of obesity is significantly increased:

  • early childhood (0 -3 years);
  • pre-school age (5 - 7 years);
  • adolescence (12-14 years to 16-17 years) (Brown, 2012).

Among risk groups, doctors mention children whose parents are obese or overweight; children whose relatives suffer from diabetes or other endocrine disorders; children and adolescents who are overweight; children who were early transferred to artificial feeding (especially high-energy unbalanced formula); premature and small babies; children with hereditary diseases and endocrine disorders (What are overweight and obesity, 2012).

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It is also essential to distinguish the main problems of parents. What mistakes in feeding one-year-old babies can lead to obesity? In the development of this deviation the character of feeding is very important. While breastfeeding the risk of overfeeding is much lower than during artificial one since when consuming milk, children usually themselves regulate the amount of food at each feeding (Brown, 2012). So, parents should try to keep breast feeding as much as possible. If a baby is bottle-fed, first, only adapted formulas should be used; secondly, parents need to follow the instructions in their breeding – without trying to make a mixture thicker than recommended. With introduction of complementary foods the amount of food should not be more than it is recommended by age, it should not be sweetened and contain salt. Particularly undesirable for infants is an increase in high-protein foods such as cottage cheese, yogurt, and meat. This protein load may not only increase the weight, but also have a negative impact on the state of kidneys. Expanding a baby’s diet after one year, parents should remember that at this age a child begins to form attitudes to food, first preferences and habits, and develops a taste. The formation of preferences in the choice of food in children is affected by the main power – a family, and a kindergarten. So it should be remembered that parents have to instill the love of a child to “right” food (Warshawski, 2012).

If a baby has a normal diet but weighs considerably more than peers, it is likely that here heredity “intervened”. This type is called exogenous obesity – constitutional. According to statistics, if one of the parents is obese, the risk of obesity in children is increased by 2-3 times; if both parents – five times. This type of obesity develops in 5-7 years and often progresses through puberty. If a child belongs to this category, it is necessary to engage in the prevention of obesity from a young age: correct diet and adequate physical activity. It is the best if a baby will be under medical observation of a pediatrician and nutritionist. Children with secondary forms of obesity should be under the supervision of endocrinologists as well.

Conclusion

Currently, obesity is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world according to the WHO. At the beginning of the 21st century overweight people counted for about 30% of the world population. The most important health consequences of obesity – diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases – are closely linked to high levels of disability and premature death in the world today. In fact, almost 60% of obese adults started suffering this disease in childhood and it continued to progress and lead to serious complications, united now under the term “metabolic syndrome” (MS) (Warshawski, 2012). The increasing prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents in developed countries over the past 20 years has doubled, and the high frequency of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as hypertension by obesity demonstrate the relevance of studying the problem of metabolic syndrome in this age group. Many pathogenic aspects of the formation of this symptom remain poorly understood. Much different information on the prevalence of obesity is connected to the lack of uniform criteria for its diagnosis in children, and to differences in the age and sex composition of the studied groups. In pediatric practice, there is no unambiguous definition of abdominal obesity. What is more, childhood obesity is a family problem. Parents should keep in mind that they will not achieve the desired result if a child does not develop the target psychological setting for a partial fasting. Depending on the nature of some chosen “key”, one can use various means of persuasion: explanation, persuasion, and encouragement. If this goal is not achieved, dietary measures will not be effective, since a child is deprived of the usual enjoyment of food and will seek and find the “forbidden fruit” (white bread, sweets, muffins, sausage, etc). In addition, if a child is obese, it is necessary to incorporate a mode of movement – walking, morning exercises, and home physical labor. Finally, one should not pay much attention to decorating dishes in order not to cause increased appetite in a child. Plus, a child should be taught to eat slowly.

Childhood obesity is one of the best examples where parents can do just about everything so that their child does not suffer, in general, an adult problem from the very childhood. There is no such thing as innate obese children – all children are born with a normal number of fat cells, even if a mother and a father are champions in extra pounds. However, if parents have extra weight, there remains a good chance that their child will be obese. This is frequently due to the fact that a child is taught to eat as parents do – consuming very much and very tasty food, and a diet of such a family is difficult to be attributed to a healthy diet. Gradually, a child learns this giving in to the power of harmful adult habits.

Code: Sample20

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