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Obesity involves a condition where a child’s well being and health is affected negatively by the body fats. Obesity diagnosis is usually depended on BMI Body Mass Index due to the difficulty in the direct determination of body fat. This condition is being noticed as a serious public health issue as many children are becoming affected with it in addition with its extreme health effects. Obesity as a term is deemed stigmatic and its use is usually avoided when referring to a child who is over weight.
In children who are two years and above, the determination of their rate of obesity is usually done by the use of the Body Mass Index. This is believed to vary in normalcy and range with the sex and age of the children. Obesity is found to have very adverse effects on children and the first problem to happen to them is usually emotional and psychological related. To some extent, obesity is believed to result in life threatening issues such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and sleep problems. The other dangers associated with diabetes comprise of menarche, liver disease, eating disorders like bulima and anorexia, asthma and skin infections. Growing of children to being overweight adults is as a result obesity. The mortality rate during childhood and adolescence is usually high because of obesity. Besides, the children feel discriminated against as there is wide spread stereotype concerning their health. In addition, there is teasing or harassment which is done by their age mates and tends to lower the children’s self esteem (Kopelman, 2005).
There are several causes of obesity and sometimes these factors tend to act in amalgamation in order to be effective. The dietary habit of children is one of the causes. This is basically related with the high consumption of food rich in calorie. Soft drinks which contain high levels of sugar are a good example here. Secondly, the in active lifestyle of children is also believed to contribute to obesity. The lack of involvement in physical activities has been established to result to obesity. This is due to children failing to participate in exercises but instead engage in stationary activities. Thirdly, genetics is also a cause of obesity resulting from the interplay between the environmental conditions and genetics. Genetics contributes through is capability to alter appetite and metabolism rate. Fourthly, the home environment has also been established as a contributor to children obesity. This is basically focused on the children’s food choices which in many cases are influenced by the family meals (Kopelman, 2005).
Obesity rates are also affected by a range of developmental factors. Breast feeding for instance is believed to decrease the obesity rates but the duration matters as it might result in obesity in the future. Children’s growth patterns also influence the tendency of growing fat. Here, the children found to have a standard deviation score which was higher than 0.67 had less chances of becoming obese in comparison to those with less standard deviation of 0.67. The child’s weight can also be influenced during their infancy. Babies who are fat by the fourth month have been proved to become obese by the time they are seven years. This is a different case in comparison to children of normal weight (Kopelman, 2005).
The main controversy associated with obesity is whether the schools should be given a chance of becoming involved in the measurement of students associated height and weight. There is also another controversy involving the measurement of the obesity data by researchers while at the same time taking into consideration the limitations involved. The main question here is what they are supposed to do with the data and what they are no supposed to do. The issue of how to involve parents, teachers and community members as a whole in initiatives intended to prevent obesity and reduce unhealthy eating habits is also an issue here. These controversies have hindered the study of life span development as many parents are against the idea of their children being given the body mass index while school. They are against it as they believe that the children’s self esteem might become affected if they are considered to be overweight. The researchers’ methodology also limits the study of life span development as their methods are questionable if they are correct and provide real results.
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