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Contemporary Issues in Childhood - Essay Example

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Contemporary Issues in Childhood

Donnelly et al (2000) detail the conditions associated with obesity such as hypertension, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes. According to Snorof et al (2004) obese children are physically at risk also for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, orthopedic problems, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease and other debilitating diseases. These authors also suggest that obese children are prone to psychological and social discrimination. Being obese makes a child a target for taunts from peers and negative reactions from others, leaving the child with hurt feelings and possibly, low self-esteem and depression (Holmes, 1998). The negative effects of obesity can be detrimental to a child’s growth and development, thus, the problem of obesity needs to be confronted early in life and solutions provided. Clearly, overweight children have the potential to become overweight or obese adults and early intervention is needed to reverse this trend (Barnes, 2011). If childhood obesity is ignored or tolerated because parents do not see the seriousness of its consequences, the health risks are more likely to affect these children, and as they grow into obese adults, the health problems will escalate. Parents need to realize that ignoring the problem of their overweight and obese children may have a great societal impact. This poses as a huge concern for NHS due to the burden that will befall them in terms of costs of caring for obese people with various health complications (NHS, 2011). This strengthens the need for more approaches in handling childhood obesity in order to reduce and prevent the problem from its onset. Possible Roots of Childhood Obesity Before solutions and strategies for tackling obesity can be developed, it is important to know the causes of the problem so these causes are addressed and challenged through the different approaches. Apart from the proliferation of junk food and the media that endorses consumption of it, technology may also be one culprit in the growing problem of childhood obesity. The most common cause of the decrease in children’s physical activity is that technology has made it more attractive for children to lead a sedentary life. Children are more than adequately entertained by the multitude of choices on television shows, internet sites and computer games. Furedi (2006) explains the cause of obesity to be consumption of too much food eaten throughout the day coupled with a lack of activity to burn the calories ingested. One theory that would help analyse childhood obesity in an organized manner is Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Model (1979). This explains that the individual’s biological and personality factors, environment and the society and culture he was born into all interplay in his development. Brofenbrenner (1979) also claims that the effects of interactions between the individual and his environment are two-directional or characterised by reciprocity. This means that while a child’s development is influenced and moulded by his family, school and peers, he likewise influences and moulds the behaviour of others around him. This is reflective of the child’s lifestyle practices with regards to diet and exercise; a child’s health depends on his family’s attitude to healthy eating and exercise and the provisions of society. The Ecological model explains that ...Show more

Summary

Evaluating Approaches to Tackling Childhood Obesity in the Early Years The World Health Organization (2011) reports that as of 2010, more than 43 million children worldwide below the age of five, were diagnosed as overweight. These overweight children have a greater probability to go on to be obese in later life if their weight is not managed well…
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Contemporary Issues in Childhood essay example
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