Type: Review
Pages: 5 | Words: 1399
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In this section, the background will be given about the topic and create groundwork for the research topic at hand.

Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health or well being, it is recognized as a serious public health concern because of the rising prevalence and its many adverse health effects. Obesity has become a pandemic, with more than a billion people affected worldwide. It has a profound effect on a child’s life. The child risks numerous health problems, and suffers emotional and social problems. Childhood obesity also leads to life-threatening conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, cancer, and other disorders like liver disease, early puberty or menarche, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, skin infections, and asthma and other respiratory problems.

It is an area of a major concern which requires researches to provide effective solutions.

In this section, academic journals will be reviewed to discuss what the present literature say about the problem at hand and how it creates room for further research work, where we can put new research questions in effect and conduct primary researches.

Obesity during adolescence has been found to increase mortality rates during adulthood.10% of children worldwide are found to be either overweight or obese while rate of obesity among children and adolescents in the United States has nearly tripled between the early 1980s and 2000. However In 2008, the rate of overweight and obese children in the United States was 32%, and had stopped climbing. Obese children suffer from emotional and psychological problems because they often get teased, harassed or discriminated by their peers and sometimes even by their own family. This behaviour from others results in constant torture and leads to low self esteem and depression. Due to these factors the personality of these children gets largely affected they prefer being isolated, they usually feel sad, bored and nervousness is found in their behaviours. The stress pressurizes them and influences in their eating habbits. Antidepressants, however, seem to have very little influence on childhood obesity. Numerous factors are their which can cause obesity and they often act in combination (Must, Jacques, Dallal, Bajema, Dietz, 1992). Body growth pattern and Excessive amounts of cortisol in the body also influences childhood obesity. The activity of the cortisol and insulin can possibly activate Cushing’s syndrome (Mossberg, 1989). The effects of eating habits on childhood obesity are difficult to determine, however fast food restaurants near schools increases the risk of obesity among the student population. Children’s food choices are also influenced by family meals. Low family incomes and having nonworking parents are associated with greater calorie intake for activity level. Researchers discovered that four out of five parents let their children make their own food decisions (Whitaker, Wright, Pepe, Seidel, Dietz, 1997). The results of a survey in the UK published in 2010 imply that children raised by their grandparents are more likely to be obese as adults than those raised by their parents. Staying physically inactive leaves unused energy in the body, most of which is stored as fat, this has also shown to be a serious cause; in fact these children are at greater risk of obesity. Exercise can help but many children fail to do it because they are spending time doing stationary activities such as computer usage, playing video games or watching television (Livingstone, 2001). TV and other technology may be large factors of physical inactivity, one of the factors of physical inactivity as a child is that it can result in physical inactivity as an adult, inadequate sleep also has a negative impact on a child’s performance in school, their emotional and social welfare, and increases their risk of being overweight. Hypothyroidism is also found as a hormonal cause of obesity. They are found to have carotid arteries which have prematurely aged by as much as thirty years as well as abnormal levels of cholesterol (Kuczmarski, Flegal, 2000).

This problem can be managed by Exclusive breast-feeding of all newborn infants for its nutritional and other beneficial effects (Parsons, Power, Logan, and Summerbell, 1999). It may also protect against obesity in later life. In infancy delaying introduction of solid foods may also help prevent obesity. In early childhood, children should be given healthful, low-fat snacks and take part in vigorous physical activity every day. Their television viewing should be limited to no more than seven hours per week (which includes video games and the Internet).Older children can be taught to select healthy, nutritious foods and to develop good exercise habits. Their time spent watching television and playing with computer or video games should be limited to no more than seven hours each week. Avoid snacking or eating meals while watching TV, movies, and videos. If the child is overweight, further weight gain can be prevented. Parents can help their children keep their weight in the healthy range (Niklas, 2001). Let the child know that you love and accept him or her at any weight. They should encourage, don’t criticize and be sensitive to the child’s concerns about appearance and social relationships. The obese child should not be singled out. Parents, brothers and sisters, and other family members living in the home all will benefit from a shift toward a healthier lifestyle. Remember that children learn best by example-set a good one. Weight loss itself is rarely a goal in an obese child. Rather, the goal is to slow or stop weight gain. The idea is to allow the child to grow into his or her body weight gradually, over time. This may take a year or two, or even longer, depending on the child’s age, weight, and growth pattern. Remember, an obese child does not have to become an obese adult. When weight loss is set as a goal, the safest and most practical objective is two pounds per month.

For the Meal and snack suggestions most of the diet should be whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They should be served a variety of green, red, yellow, brown, and orange vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole-grain bread, pasta, and rice. They should eat two or three servings of low-fat (1% milk) or nonfat dairy products every day. A healthy diet also includes two to three servings of foods from the meat and beans group. This includes lean meat, poultry, fish, cooked dry beans, eggs, and nuts. Trim all fat off meat and remove skin from poultry, Choose low-fat or fat-free breads and cereals (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, Johnson, 1999). Avoid fried food and Choose low-fat and tasty snack foods. Parents should not make the child eat when he or she isn’t hungry, they should not rush meal time. In general, you eat more when you eat quickly. Insisting that the child should finish the meal should be avoided .The parents should not use food to comfort or reward or offer dessert as a reward for finishing a meal. They should avoid eating at fast-food restaurants more than once a week. They should also make sure meals outside the home, such as school lunches, are balanced. Offer your child water to quench thirst. Avoid away from soda and other sugary drinks. Limiting the child’s time watching television and playing computer and video games is also a positive aspect. The child should be encouraged to do something active, like riding a bicycle, jumping rope, or playing ball. Better yet, bicycle or play ball with your child and should be taught good eating and exercising habits (Livingstone, 2001).

Orlistat and sibutramine may however be helpful in managing moderate obesity in adolescence. Sibutramine works by altering the brain’s chemistry and decreasing appetite while Orlistat works by preventing the absorption of fat in the intestines (James, 2004).

When the goal is to help a child reach and maintain a healthy weight, parents take the lead. Healthcare providers and nutrition consultants are there to help, but parents exert the most control over the child’s activities and habits and thus are in the greatest position to make changes.

The most important thing parents can do for an obese child is to be supportive. The child’s feelings about himself or herself are at least partly determined by your feelings.

However there are no medications currently approved for the treatment of obesity in children nor has research up to yet proven a solution to the problem. This creates a gap in the research, where further work and analysis is required.

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