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In United States, childhood obesity continues to increase in prevalence among children with studies showing that there is always high prevalence of future risks associated with childhood obesity. This category of children has high chances of premature death and disability in childhood. Children, who are overweight, often experience breathing difficulties, hypertension, insulin resistance, and physiological effects. In addition, childhood obesity is implicated in heart, lung, musculoskeletal, and even physiological complications. This condition also cause other challenges experienced by such children including increased risk of fractures and early markers of cardiovascular diseases (Poskitt & Edmunds, 2008).

Obesity among children has also been found to be prevalent in poor economy regions due to poor nutrition. In fact, it is interesting to encounter overweight and under-nutrition existing side-by-side. In low-income and middle-income countries, children are often vulnerable as they receive inadequate prenatal care and young child nutrition. While the care is poor, the children are usually exposed to macronutrient poor foods which have high contents of sugar, salt, fats and energy dense since these foods tend to be cheap (Poskitt & Edmunds, 2008).

In United States, studies have shown that overweight children often experience several symptoms, which affect their learning progress in schools. Such children often miss schools for more times as much as their counterparts with normal body weight also do. This is due to the several health complications they are usually faced with. Negative body image and back problems are among the challenges that interfere with there concentration in class. Overweight children have higher risk for adulthood obesity in relation to children, having normal body weight. Therefore, it is important that children brought up in accordance to healthy life style, help them to overcome such challenges. It is encouraging that some few states are considering having schools measure the Body Mass Index of students. This is then to be sent to parents as health report in a similar way as academic report are usually handled in order to have students body weight monitored (Kafyyulilo & Lafumiko, 2010).

Gestational Weight Gain. Obesity in pregnancy is often defined as BMI of 30kg/m2 or more during the first antenatal visit. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), overweight during pregnancy is currently a common challenge, affecting approximately one out of five pregnant women. A research by CDC reports that overweight occurring during pregnancy is one of the reasons behind increased use of healthcare services. It is normally characterized by frequent use outpatient as well as inpatient health acre services and increased duration in hospitals in wait of delivery. In addition, overweight has witnessed the rise in use of physician servicers with a reduction in use of services provided by nurse practitioners as well as physician assistants, while overweight women attend prenatal visits.

Overweight women have higher risk of having birth with certain defects as compared to their normal weight counterparts. Such defects may include heart problems, neural tube defects such as spinal bifida, as well as cleft palate and lip. It is important to consider that birth defects are rare occurrences, approximately 2%-4% of pregnancies and, therefore, the risk is low. How obesity increases risks of birth defects is not clearly understood as researches only do offer possible explanations. Since diabetes is implicated in causing birth defects, obese women often have high risk of Type II diabetes (Doheny, 2009).

In addition, overweight women have been found to be deficient in some nutrients such as folate, an important nutrient in prevention of neutral tube defects. Overweight women may require an amount above the required one in order to prevent birth defects. For this reason, it is important that women, who are overweight, are counseled way before conception in order to take precautions as well as embrace weight loss. For such women, the most important prenatal visit is before conception since it is not advisable to embark on weight loses during pregnancy (Doheny, 2009).

Overweight women have high risk of spontaneous abortion and hypertensive disorders as compared to those, who are of normal weight. Abortion and still births could be as a result of decreased ability by overweight women to perceive reduction in fetal movement, hyperlipidemia, resulting in atherosclerosis, thus, affecting placental blood flow. Overweight women could also have complicated births as a result of increased snoring and sleep apnea, which is linked to oxygen de-saturation and hypoxia. In addition, such women have recorded more complications, which require caesarean section during delivery (Davies, Maxwell, & McLeod, 2010).  

It has been noted that overweight often experience more complications during the cesarean section including increased operative time, blood loss, need of vertical skin incision as well as increased post-operation wound infection and endometritis. Usually, in the absence of contraindications, women, who went through caesarean section in their first delivery, are advised to have vaginal birth in their subsequent pregnancies. 80% of those, who had caesarean delivery, have been found to have successful vaginal birth in the subsequent pregnancies. However, those, who are overweight of this category, are less likely to have successful vaginal birth as compared to their lean counterparts. These birth complications in overweight women could be as a result of altered or impaired uterine contractility (Davies, Maxwell, & McLeod, 2010).

Depression. The research has shown that obesity and depression are closely linked and tend to feed each other. That is obesity causes depression and depression also leads to obesity. The increase in weight could be linked to both biological and social disorders. Biologically, the link between obesity and depression is the HPA axis, a hormonal pathway. The axis is the communication route that links hypothalamus to the part of the brain governing part of the nervous system as well as pituitary and adrenal glands, which are responsible for secretion of a variety of hormones.

The three points work together in order to ensure that chemical equilibrium is maintained in the body during stress. The release of Cortisol, also known as “stress hormone” is the responsibility of the HPA axis. The hormone plays a significant role in energy metabolism and other functions. The problem is that the stress hormone stimulates the body to increase fat deposition around the abdomen. Thus, abnormal functioning of the HPA axis may lead to obesity, behavioral disorders, as well as depression.

Overweight people are 25 percent more likely to experience mood disorders such as depression than those, who are of normal weight. Most people, who are overweight, have low self esteem as they feel that they have poor self image. Their situations are sometimes worsened by social isolation, which further aggravates the depression they already could be going through. They sometimes find themselves stereotyped, ostracized, and discriminated against. Overweight individuals could also experience chronic joint pains as a result extra weight they carry in there body; this together with other serious health disorders such as hypertension and diabetes often cause depression in obese individuals. In addition, obesity may result into a chronic stressful state, which can, in turn, cause critical psychological dysfunction (Thompson, 2011).

On the other hand, studies have shown that most teenagers, who are depressed, are likely to gain weight abnormally. Depressed individuals tend to overeat or have poor choices of the food they eat. This overeating probably results from activation of endocannabinoid system; the system elevates appetite and simultaneously increases depression. As a result of socio-economic disadvantage, some individuals also resort to over-consumption of comfort foods, which are presumed to be cheap. In addition, such people tend to shy away from exercise but rather have a sedentary life style. Studies also show that depressed individuals with decreased level of serotonin hormone are likely to become overweight. This interrelationship between the two, depression and obesity, makes the condition challenging and complex for the affected individuals to overcome (Thompson, 2011).

Daytime Sleepiness. According to National Sleep Foundation, about one out of five American adults experience excessive daytime sleepiness. This is due to the fact that obesity and depression has been associated with excessive sleepiness and tiredness. However, sleepiness and obesity form a cycle as they complement each other. Since those, who tend to sleep a lot, have little time to exercise their body, it is common knowledge that such people will increase in weight. Studies have revealed that in addition to daytime sleepiness obese people sleep excessively at night as well. This phenomenon contradicts the concept of sleep deprivation. The principle attributes daytime sleepiness to be a making of less sleep at night. Overweight individuals, who lose weight or undergo bariatric surgery, have been seen to experience reduction in the level of tiredness and sleepiness (Chang, 2012).

Bladder Weakness. Extra weight in obese individuals does exert much pressure on the bladder as well as other internal organs. This often weakens the bladder. The bladder is usually supported by pelvic floor muscles, which prevent urine from leaking.  These muscles wrap the underside of both the bladder and the rectum. However, in many overweight and obese individuals the pelvic muscle may fail to withstand the extra pressure exerted on the bladder and therefore fail to prevent urine flow from the bladder. Studies have revealed that overweight women do experience this complication twice more than those with normal weight. Individuals having bladder weakness usually experience the problem of urine leakage in small amounts, especially during certain activities such as sneezing, laughing, coughing, and even during sexual intercourse.  Urine leakage may be demoralizing as it sometimes produces bad odor in those, who have this problem (Bouchard & Katzmarzk, 2010).

How Overweight Can Be Reduced. Since overweight is a health and fitness problem, a solution needs to be crafted in order to solve the challenge. In life, every individual needs to have a goal, and more so, to achieve the goals positively. There is need that overweight individuals set goals in order to deal with this problem. In fact, treatment of obesity focuses on two objectives: to be able to achieve healthy weight and then be able to maintain the healthy weight. However, the major challenge that overweight individuals face while they attempt to lose weight is discouragement. Most of them believe that in order to enjoy benefits, they have to lose all the extra weight in their body. On the contrary, this is not true as overweight reduction just but by a few pounds is beneficial to body health. Therefore, every little step initiated in the direction of weight lose earns a mileage towards healthy life. It is significant that overweight people have to be given moral support in order to be able to reduce weight. Encouraging such individuals that slowly and constantly lose weight, probably a pound or two per week, can be helpful to them (Gard & Wright, 2005).

It is possible to improve body health by embracing modest weight loss. This can be brought into effect through dietary changes, behavior changes, as well as increase physical activities. Reducing consumption of sugary foods, some fats, and refined carbohydrates should be also significant in order to achieve some level of weight loss. However, it is necessary that while reducing weight, one does not crash-dieting in order to attain faster reduction. This may be risky as it may lead to development of other health complications such as vitamin deficiency. It is, thus, advisable for overweight individuals to change their diet by the help of health experts (Gard & Wright, 2005).

Complementing good diet with physical activities yields better results in line with lose of weight. In order to lose one kilogram of fat, 8,000 calories has to be burnt. Overweight people can increase physical activities just by beginning with walking briskly coupled with behavior change. Change of behavior may include leaving the car at home while going to nearby shops, alighting from public transport vehicle shortly before reaching job place or getting out of elevator two floors before reaching the office or house for those situated in story buildings (Gard & Wright, 2005).

In case obese person have tried to shed weight through diet change and physical activities in vain, then medications can be considered as a last resort. Prescription becomes necessary when the individual’s BMI exceeds 27 and undermines the health resulting into complications such as diabetes, sleep apnea, as well as hypertension. Weight loss surgery also known as bariatric surgery may be an option for weight lose, especially for people who are morbidly obese. However, the process is usually offered if all other available means have failed to yield results (Gard & Wright, 2005).

Conclusions

Overtime, the government has tried to minimize prevalence of overweight among the Americans but the attempts seem to gain so little progress. Currently, billions of dollars are being invested on public campaigns, in order to create awareness among the citizens on the need of eating healthy. However, despite this, majority of people continue to overeat. This raises the already huge figure of overweight individuals. Consumption of fast-foods and sweetened drinks are among the hurdles the government has to deal with, in order to curb the increasing rate of obesity in the nation. Attempts to reduce this problem are also challenged by constant advertisements aired in the media by fast food companies. Nevertheless, for overweight and obesity to be dealt with, every individual must take responsibility of his or her life together with that of the family members.


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