Health Research Methods

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Introduction: Obesity is generally defined as the abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in adipose tissue to the extent that health may be impaired. The prevalence of obesity in youth is increasing globally. Changes in traditional lifestyles among indigenous communities such as a reduction in hunting and gathering and resulting adoption of a more sedentary life and westernized diet are thought to contribute to the rising obesity levels.


In youth, physical inactivity has been identified as an important predictor of excess weight gain. Concurrent with increases in overweight and obesity, physical activity has decreased among children and adolescents. During middle and high school years, marked declines in physical activity have been observed, particularly among girls, regardless of race. One reason for the decline in physical activity in the childhood may be the reduction of physical education in schools. In the developed world, increasing use of computers and television also markedly decrease children's activity level. As a result of this, while many children get little to no physical activity, even those who meet current recommended activity guidelines may still not be exercising sufficiently (Ebbelling, Pawlak, and Ludwig, 2002, 473-482).
The degree of obesity in children cannot be assessed by any classification as it is done in case of adults. In case of children, it is expressed traditionally by percentile measures. Children who have a body mass index (BMI) between 85th and 95th percentile are considered at risk for overweight, and those who are at greater than 95th percentile are considered overweight. ...
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