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Excess body fat, which is popularly referred to as overweight or obesity, is one of the major health problems that has been occurring since centuries and still has continued to increase as the year passes. According to this research, obesity is epidemic in the developed countries, and it is also higher in rates compared to the developing countries, where obesity is only prevalent (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). Based on this research article, this health issue does not only affect adults; it is also common among children; in fact, in a developed country such as the U.
S., 25% and 11% of the children are overweight and obese, respectively (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). It is also claimed that about 70% of the children who become obese during childhood have the likelihood of remaining obese in their adulthood (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). Obesity is a chronic disease that can eventually negatively affect one’s physical health, causing heart diseases, digestive diseases etc., and it can also affect one’s psychological health by causing depression (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005).
The research claims that an attempt to reduce and eventually eradicate this health issue, lifestyle changes, diet and exercise has been forced on adults who are obese; however, there is only little to no improvement that this strategy has been able to ensure. Based on the study, once become overweight, it is difficult for one to lose weight. However, a new design, which encourages free plays and discourages sedentary behaviors, was developed to encompass decrease in the rate of obesity, while only focusing on the children. The strategy includes preventions, as well as identifying the causes of obesity and addressing them.
Based on this research article, obesity is more likely to be caused by the reduced rate in energy burn versus increased rate in energy absorption (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). Although we need food to fuel our body of energy, we also need to burn this energy to maintain a constant body weight. Moreover, this energy intake and energy expenditure ratio can be influenced by many factors such as, genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Genes such as leptin deficiency, hyperthyroidism and growth hormone deficiency can cause obesity in some children (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). In addition, environments in which a child develops, normally influences the child’s lifestyles in terms of physical activities and diet. The study claims there is a correlation between the lack of physical activities among children and obesity. This research indicates that parents sometimes contributes to majority of the decline in physical activities among children.
Most parents reported that they make their children stay indoors and watch TV, rather than allowing them to go outside to play, so as for them to be able to keep their eyes on their children while they are managing their chores and responsibilities around the house (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). Notwithstanding, I believe the financial status of a family can affect the health of a child. In accordance with the report from CDC, obesity is prevalent among children who belong to a low-income family (Children Obesity Facts, 2017). The family’s socioeconomic status is equivalent to the type of neighborhood the child is being raised, as well as the type of foods accessible to the child. For example, as someone who comes from a low-income family and lived in a poor neighborhood, I had little to no access to healthy foods nor recreation centers.
Healthy foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits are very expensive, while unhealthy foods such as burgers, which are high in fats, are more affordable to low-income families. Most low-income families feed their children fast foods, instead of healthy foods that are nutritious. Additionally, my neighborhood lacked gyms, parks and playgrounds, where the people could engage in physical activities. This is a common disadvantage to most poor neighborhoods. However, to control the rate of obesity among children, several preventive methods were established. These preventive methods work in encouraging free plays rather than forced behaviors (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005).
In the research findings, these interventions are built environment, physical activities and diet. Interventions such as creation of recreation centers, cycling network, walking network is a way of building the environment; thereby, promoting healthy choices that are accessible to the neighborhood. Physical activities among children, according to this research, can be used to prevent the development of obesity.
By encouraging children to participate in sports, they are engaging them in physical activities that will allow them to maintain a healthy body weight, lose weight or stop them from gaining more weight (Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, 2005). The research also mentions increasing the prices of unhealthy foods, so as to discourage consumers from purchasing them. However, I doubt this will address anything if prices of only unhealthy foods are being altered. If at all unhealthy foods will become less affordable, healthy foods should become more affordable.
I believe the reason why most make unhealthy food choices is due to their lack of access to affordable healthy foods. Although in the U.S., financial supports are provided to low-income families, and they are given food stamps, most of these families like to conserve by spending on the less expensive foods that are normally less nutritious, so that everyone in the family can have enough to eat.Furthermore, the study was easy to follow. Some of the many causes of obesity were discussed in the research. One of the studies included the causes of decline in physical activities.
Moreover, the purpose of the research was to find strategies that can reduce the rate in child obesity. Although the study mentioned them and claimed that these plans have been effective in reducing obesity, it did not include any data to prove the measures of the effectiveness. The research did not mention or show data of where and when these interventions were implemented. There is no comparison between the rates of obesity among children, before and after the interventions.
Therefore, I am not satisfied with the research findings, and I would like to see that another research is being conducted to test the effectiveness of these interventions on child obesity.