Childhood Obesity

.. results in the release of fatty acids into veins which causes an excess of hepatic synthesis of triglycerides, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Arthritis Arthritis is also another health risk that is associated with obesity. The over weight problem that is caused by obesity starts to wear out the joints and this causes a decrease in mobility. The muscles in the body known as skeletal muscles are weakened and reduced in volume turning them into a muscular hypotrophy.

Also, excess weight is a major predictor of osteoarthritis of the knee. Skin A reaction to obesity is the irritations of the skin of an obese person. The skin is composed of elastine, that gives elasticity and lets fat excess to be deposited there. However this elasticity has a limit and the tissue begins to stretch and break. Stretch marks appear from the breakage of the skin.

They are changes in the endocrine system, in the central sweat and sebaceous glands. Bigger growths of hair in many areas of the body is an result of this. This is known as hirsutism. Sweating increases and boils appear in the fold of skin. Fungus also develops in these folds of skin.

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Psychological and Social Effects Probably the most severe effect of obesity is Psychological and social effects. One of the most painful aspects of obesity may be the emotional suffering it causes. American society places great emphasis on physical appearance, often equating attractiveness with slimness, Childhood Obesity 7 especially in women. The messages, intended or not, make overweight people feel unattractive. Many people assume that obese people are gluttonous, lazy, or both.

Obese people often face prejudice or discrimination at work, at school, while looking for a job, and in other social situations. Other common feelings include: rejection, shame ,and/or depression TreatmentThe best way to affect the occurrence of obesity is to prevent it. In the past, treating childhood obesity was done unsuccessfully through strict dieting and exercise. But now a family-based approach is being introduced. These programs are more successful because they maintain or slowly help a child lose weight as he/she grows (Mellin, 1993).

These program focus on the entire family, promoting physical and emotional well being and not dieting. An interdisciplinary team of health professionals provides care. They first do a biopsychosocial assessment to see if there are any medical or psychosocial problems, they then address the symptoms of obesity and the causes of the weight gain (Mellin, 1993). It is important to involve the entire family in treating this problem. Another way to help your child is to be a good role model, children are very aware of what their parents eat and how much or little they exercise (Goss, 1999).

You can also go to the supermarket with your child and learn to read the food labels together. Create a healthy recipe and make it. Also have meals together as many times as possible during the week (Levine,1999).Goals Goals should be set concerning weight loss, start off small, so your child does not become discouraged. The child should keep a record of all the food eaten to aid in weight loss, this makes them become conscious of his/her eating and exercise habits. (Moran, 1999) At dinner, parents should make a meal that the child likes, but if it is high in fat and/or calories only prepare one serving of it (Levine, 1999). Meals should be oriented toward a healthy diet with 30% fat calories or less (Moran, 1999).

Parents should also only offer snacks when the child is hungry. Make healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, raw vegetables, cheese and crackers, or peanut butter on crackers. Keep water, fresh fruits, containers of baby carrots and celery, in the refrigerator, also have boxes of raisons handy. Dilute juices with water by at least half, to make sure that the child intakes the recommended amount of water and cuts down on the calories that are in juices. Small size bottled water make good drinks, they can be put in the child’s lunch box, or be used during or after a child’s exercise (Levine, 1997). Make sure your child’s meal contains most of the food groups. Make soda a treat; encourage your child to drink milk instead (Goss, 1999). Another helpful hint, always remember to schedule meals and snacks.Other Precautions Do not make the child eat everything on his/her plate (Goss, 1999) this can cause overeating.

Food should be used only for nutritional purposes, not for comfort or a reward. Praise your child, verbally, after they make a healthy food choice (Levine, 1997)Participate In Activities Exercise is needed to loss weight and change body fat into muscle (Moran, 1999). To control a child’s weight, encourage the child to participate in sports for at least a half an hour a day (Levine, 1997). Parents should encourage “active” activities that your child likes such as skateboarding, swimming, riding a bike, jumping rope, hiking, football, basketball, etc. Parents should limit television watching and encourage physical activity (Moran, 1997). Overall, a parent should watch their child’s diet.

If obesity is in the family, parents should pay particular attention to their child’s lifestyle so that in the future the child won’t face any life Childhood Obesity 9 threatening health conditions. Childhood obesity is not a joke, it is now considered to be an epidemic, and an ongoing problem in today’s society. Bibliography Childhood Obesity 10 [Anonymous]. (1999). Facts about Childhood Obesity and Overweightness.

Family Economics and Nutrition Review Volume 12. p52. [Anonymous]. (1997). Childhood Obesity- Healthier Lifestyles Needed to Treat this Growing Problem. Available from: Goss, Michelle.

(1999). Childhood Obesity is a Growing Problem. Available from: release/1999/mar/9.html Levine, Barbara.(1997). Let them Eat Grapes: Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in your School Age Children. Newsweek. Volume S13 (2). Mellin.

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Miller, Peter. (1993). The Hilton Head Diet for Children and Teenagers. New York Mokdad, H, Ali.(1999). The Spread of the Obesity Epidemic in U.S.

The Journal of the American Medical Association. Volume282. p1519. Moran, Rebecca M.D. (1999). Evaluation and Treatment of Childhood Obesity.

American Family Physician. Volume 86(1). Stune, M, Dennis M.D. (1999). Childhood Obesity; Time for Action, not Complacency. American Physician.

p758. Tomlin, C, Anne. (1999). Understanding Childhood Obesity. Library Journal. Volume 124 p158.