To what extent is children's well-being a priority in modern western societies? Introduction Children’s well-being is one of the most fundamental determinants of the overall social well-being in a society. Of all the issues that constitute children’s wellbeing, a very important and major issue is childhood obesity…
Threats to children’s well-being in the US Childhood obesity To date, many nutrition and behavior-based interventions have been made both within the home and the school but have achieved very little, if any, success in preventing the overweight or obesity in children. Presently, children in the US experience sobering rates of obesity. “In 2009–2010, 16.9% of U.S. children and adolescents were obese” (Ogden et al., 2012, p. 2). The obese children in the US face different kinds of health complications including heart disease in the very early years of their life. Causes of childhood obesity in the US The main factors linked with the increased risk of obesity in children particularly in the stage of infancy include but are not limited to excessive weight gain in women during pregnancy, smoking during pregnancy, lesser duration of breast-feeding, and lesser than required sleep of the children during infancy. These exposures are the major risk factors to children’s well-being in the US because they occur during the early stages of development of children and thus regulate the energy balance in them in the long run. These factors specifically influence the hypothalamic circuits’ development which regulates the weight, the endocrine pancreatic function, changes in the lean body mass’s proportion to the fat body mass, and also several other metabolic programming cycles. In light of the aforementioned factors of risk of increased tendency of the children to become overweight or obese, programs or campaigns meant to prevent obesity in the children should specifically influence the earliest stages of development of the children so that the children develop right habits right from the very start of their life and can easily sustain them during the subsequent stages of development. The vulnerability of the children in the US to obesity can be reduced by designing interventions that help reduce excessive gain of weight as well as smoking during the pregnancy in women, increase the breast-feeding’s duration for the children, and provide the children with more sleep in the stage of infancy. Programs to ensure children’s well-being in the US The Let’s Move Campaign In the US, children’s wellbeing as always been a priority, yet objective measures could not be taken since the efforts made have largely been experiments that have not yielded very fruitful results. However, the present government of the US has taken the issue of childhood wellbeing quite seriously and some very effective measures have been taken in this regard. For example, one of the campaigns for the prevention of childhood obesity have been started by the First Lady Michelle Obama on 9 February 2010 with the name “Let’s Move” (letsmove.gov, n.d.). The Let’s Move campaign proposes several practicable measures against the sedentary lifestyle of all communities in the US in general and the children and especially the infants in particular since a considerable population of children in the US become obese right from the first two years of their life and accordingly, all complexities and health risks of obesity in children ensue. The main antiobesity strategies of the Let’s Move campaign are directed at empowering the consumers of the food products as well as the parents. To achieve ...
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