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Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity - Research Paper Example

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Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity

In epidemiology, there are certain steps done systematically to successfully cure diseases (Page, Cole & Timmreck, 1995). The first step is to identify the problem, or the disease, then make a community or a population assessment by determining whether there are actual or potential health problems present. In this step, questions such as which among the population is the least or the most susceptible is determined. By performing demographic profiling, it can determine the percentage of individuals affected, and can be a reliable indicator of the overall health of the population (Yarnell, 2007). This step is followed by the determination of the causes of the disease. After having a conclusion as to how an ailment affects individuals, epidemiologists give out information on what the disease is, as well as causes, effects and prevention methods. The last step would be on the hands of an individual and his or her personal decisions after being informed about a certain disease. The person can choose whether to do actions that could prevent the onset of the disease or just do nothing to prevent it (Page et al., 1995). Diseases can be studied either by the number of affected individuals in a given population (quantitative epidemiology) or by studying the causes and effects of the disease in the affected individuals (qualitative epidemiology), which are both important in determining risk factors (Yarnell, 2007). In order to search for the causes of diseases, a model is used in determining those factors. Figure 1. The Epidemiology Triangle The epidemiology triangle is a traditional model used in determining the causes of diseases (Page et al., 1995). The vertices consist of the host, or the carrier of the disease, the agent or the cause of the disease, and the environment where the host and the agent are brought together (ibid.). Another part of the triangle is TIME, or the incubation period before a disease becomes full blown (Merril & Timmreck, 2006). After all components of the formation of the disease are identified properly, epidemiologists break the legs of the triangle, disrupting the connections between environment, host and agent in order to prevent the outbreak of the disease and prevent it from spreading. However, in non-infectious diseases this triangle model is not always reliable due to some particular components that are not easily classifiable whether they are agents or environmental (Page et al., 1995). This paper would be tackling the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, and attempt to create a disease model as well as to list the steps in its prevention, focusing on presentation of qualitative obesity epidemiology. Definition of Obesity Body mass index or BMI is used to determine whether a person’s weight is below normal, normal, or above normal, which can be overweight, obese or morbidly obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2011). A percentage of at least 25-30% fat in the body can consider a child as fat (Williams et al., 1992). BMI that is 25 up to 29.9 is overweight, and beyond that is considered obese. Being obese, or obesity is defined as an excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat that presents various risks to health (WHO, n.d.). Problems that can arise from excessive fat include high blood pressure and cholesterol, increased impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, breathing ...Show more

Summary

The Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity Name Institution Date The Epidemiology of Childhood Obesity The World Health Organization, or WHO (n.d.) defines epidemiology as the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease), and the application of this study to the control of diseases and other health problems…
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