This article discusses obesity rate, causes of obesity, and its management in children. The author defines childhood obesity as having a body mass index that is greater than 95th percentile for age. The article discusses categorization of obesity in children, citing The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention as classifying obesity as BMI of 95th percentile or more. According to the article, the number of children with obesity has steadily been rising for the last three decades, with one in five children in the USD being obese. Physical activity, nutritional practices, improving diet, and modification of the behaviors that lead to excessive weight gain are among the core initiatives of the anti-obese programs. Such programs for a healthy lifestyle, devoid of behaviors that lead to obesity are easily carried out in communities and schools where children are together hence making participation and influence easier (Hills & King, 2007). The family level has also been a target by community organizations, as a place where healthy lifestyle ought to be encouraged. The effects though from these programs have not been felt but are modest, introducing the need for more practical, affordable, sustainable, and available programs to children at the family level (Paxon, 2006).
The main target of such programs is to target the guardians in order to improve life quality, nutritional knowledge and life activity hence reduce the body mass index. According to the article, obese children are more vulnerable to co-morbidities which are associated with obesity. Metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea is the most prevalent co-morbidities in obese children nowadays. Most likely, obese children are also bound to become obese adult compared to normal weight children. Costs due to childhood obesity have also escalated at a rate similar to its incidence. According to the author the annual costs of hospital care have tripled in two decades. Children who hail from lower socioeconomic status are more vulnerable to obesity as are adolescents lacking health insurance coverage. Interventions have been put in place through programs aimed at treatment and prevention of obesity.
This article discusses an initiative by the High Mark Foundation to advocate for change and promotion of health among children in the region, in partnership with five other companies. These are Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center; Heartwood Institute; Pennsylvanian Advocates for Nutrition and Activity (PANA); SPARK Active Recreation Program; Office of Community Health, and Conemaugh Health System. Among its efforts, High Mark is targeting to impact children’s health positively around the region, with leading initiatives already in place for fighting obesity in adults and children. High Mark, since 2002, has been bringing together physicians, educators, community leaders and policy makers in an effort to address obesity and overweight in children. Being a leading insurer in Pennsylvania, High Mark’s mission has been to offer quality and affordable healthcare leading to longer and healthier lives for the residents (Highmark, 2011).
This company serves more than million people through its health care benefits program, through contributing millions of dollars to make programs for healthcare affordable. It also works to support programs that are community based, and who aimed is improving healthcare of the residents. The company has put in place promotional programs that will see the residents get information and access to their programs, through setting up of websites and advertisements in the national media. High Mark’s initiative has benefited the 49 counties in Pennsylvania, and it is in line with its mission to make sure that all residents afford health care, in an attempt to fight obesity in children and adults, as well as other health issues (Highmark Inc., 2011).
The author of this article seeks to create awareness of the different programs that have been put in place in the fight against obesity in children. This article targets mostly guardians who should take the initiative and look for such programs.