War against Obesity in Children
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Obesity is the state of the body having more amount of fat stored in various parts in the body. In children, the definition might not be very clear but basically various professionals have different ways of defining it. Many people tend to confuse it with overweight. They fail to acknowledge the fact that obesity is more than being overweight. Obesity is having more body fat while being overweight is weighing too much. Some owe it that it is the state of a child having more than a 20% of the normal expected weight at that age. Obesity today is a point of concern to many parents and to the world in general since the numbers of children with this condition are increasing at a very high rate despite of its grave outcomes. In the past, cases of children obesity were rare compared to today. In out of five children, one is found to be obese or overweight. This implies that the risk of high rate of health risks associated with the same will rise considerably. Obesity therefore is a condition that has been brought by modernization and its effects are threatening the life of future generations.
There are a number of factors that can trigger children to become obese or overweight. They include: the food preference- Sugary and fatty food s tend to pose obese problems are considered unhealthy. Failure to be physically active- if children are not physically active, they are at risk of obesity because of excess accumulation of energy stored as fat. Increase in time spent in pursuit of sedentary activities for example computer games and watching of television, have today reduced the time spent on the active pursuits. Cases of parents who are overweight are also a major factor since they can not become motivators to their children on healthy eating. This is mostly so because they are less concerned. Genetical disorders can be another trigger for obesity though this happens in very rare circumstances.
The society changes can be blamed for the increase in cases of obesity. Today society has graduated from their traditional way of life to pave way for modernization. The changes have contributed to people having to eat more than they were doing or even becoming less active. It is clear that, exercises keep the body fit under all circumstances. Cost of food has gone down to many people due to increase in ways and easiness of making money more so in the developed countries. It therefore becomes obvious that there is too much eating (Shield, 2002). Today most food given to children is not prepared at home, this brings a question on how it has been prepared, and the fat content. These already prepared foods found in supermarkets and other shops, are mostly energy dense foods. Use of cars as a means of transport has increased and many parents do not allow their children to take small walks to may be school and church but insists on taking them. School can also be blamed for this alarming problem since they have disregarded the role of physical education more so in upper classes in the name of creating time for studies. This is common in developing countries that are in the race to obtain financial independence as a country.
To children, obesity is not a grave problem at their age but the effects are felt later as they grow up. Children with obese situations are at risk of developing high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and metabolic syndrome. These risks are proportional to the level of fat concentration in the body. In return the collectiveness of these factors increases the risk of heart related diseases. The problem of heart diseases can be minimal if the child looses the excess weight as he or she grows up. But if they maintain the obese conditions the risk is elevated. Other diseases associated with obese conditions from childhood are gall bladder problems, cancer, and gout.
This is a condition that can be therefore be controlled and put into halt. It is vital to note that obesity is preventable by maintaining high health standards. This can be therefore be countered using two basic approaches neither in school or at home because of all the contributing factors, dietary and physical activities means a lot. Teaching of healthy diet and the significance of being physically active are two lessons that should be included in the curriculum. Parents should be role models in healthy eating and making of good food choices, provide their children with foods low in fat, sugar, and sodium while maintaining high level intake of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. They should not bar their children from taking unhealthy food but they should moderate the amounts they take. Viewing of television programs should be limited and instead the time diverted in to physical exercises programs. Fresh fruits should be given to the children’s instead of snacks (Stern, 1999).
School administration on the other hand should try also to be good models since children places them higher and regards everything they do as right. They should also advocate eating of healthy meals for children while in school. There should also be inclusion of nutrition lessons in school curriculum. They should ensure that physical lessons are incorporated in the curriculum. Teachers should help children to set the goals that are realistic and achievable more so those concerning healthy eating. In school, there should be an establishment of programs that motivates healthy eating (Lawrence, 2006). Government also should come in controlling the king of food packed and ensure that fat and sugar levels are low.
This basically means that the fight on children obesity can only be brought to a stop if the whole world will come together and every one to play his/ her part in halting the disease. The major part lies within the dockets of teachers and parents since they are the one that are with the children for so mush time. Obesity must be controlled since treatment of it is far much expensive that preventing it. There is basically no point of striving to treat a disease that can be controlled and prevented. It will only take very little energy to halt it if the all the people of the world were to join hands and say no to unhealthy life style.