The young generation undeniably represents the future of nations, which implies that a threat to the young generation threatens the future of nations. Fundamentally, childhood obesity is one of the major threats to the young generation considering the major risk factors and health related problems associated with obesity such as heart diseases and diabetes, among others (Sahoo et al. 187-8). Childhood obesity can be viewed as massive weight gain by children due to consumption of unhealthy diets and which negatively affects their overall health and wellbeing due to excess body fat. The potential negative impacts of obesity and the fact that the young generation represents the future dictate that more effort be expended towards addressing childhood obesity.
This basically represents why childhood obesity is a problem that society must address especially when measures taken to combat the condition have not borne much fruit as reported by Kaplan (par.2). The author affirms that childhood obesity has turned into an unrelenting condition as statistics seem to indicate continuing prevalence of childhood obesity even though the younger the age of the children, the less likely they are at risk of obesity. Still, Karnik and Kanekar (1) identified the condition in 2012 as a global public health crisis affecting both developed and developing nations. The recurrence of this crisis is re-affirmed in 2016 by Lorenzetti (par.1-2) who reports that the developing nations have been hit hard by the crisis. Essentially, the condition is caused by ingestion of excess calories and the lack of utilization of those calories, which is worsened by a combination of environmental, genetic and behavioral factors especially physical inactivity (Karnik and Kanekar 1). Other predisposing factors include aggressive advertising of unhealthy foods to children, various cultural and parental influences, as well as various psychological factors like strong negative emotions, among others. Besides the numerous risk factors and associated health conditions, the need to address and deal with childhood obesity is informed by the high health care costs associated with the condition, as well as the adverse consequences as outlined by (Sahoo et al. 189-1).
Considering the identified causes and predisposing factors, the most effective way to deal with the obesity epidemic is to target those causes, which basically calls for a multi-pronged intervention strategy. This is affirmed by Karnik and Kanekar (1) who identifies the various strategies as including family, community, hospital, school and play-based interventions. The specific strategies under these interventions include bariatric surgery, educational and weight-loss programs involving increased physical activity and dietary management interventions as well as pharmacological therapy. Others include provision of exact calorie readable labels on products and menus, restrictions on advertising of unhealthy foods as well as promotion of healthy food making among parents. The strategy involving advertising is especially viewed by Knapton (par.1-2) to be important and the forte of government intervention where banning junk food and sanctioning discounting and advertising before 9 p.m. are recommended. The government has however not acted upon recommendations advanced by the Health Select Committee formed to address the problem. Programs involving educational multimedia messages meant to promote healthy eating are also indicated as potentially helpful strategies alongside community-level facilities, educational programs and social events that encourage play, among others. The encouragement of physical activity and dietary management seems to underlie the interventions proposed and hence remain the best options to dealing with childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity does represent a major health problem not only nationally but also internationally and one that must be addressed promptly. This is in consideration of the risk factors and health related conditions associated with obesity as well as the adverse consequences which are not only physical but also psychological. The various measures proposed to address this problem are categorized under family, community, hospital, school and play-based interventions, among others especially at national and international levels. However, a multi-pronged intervention strategy is recommended founded upon the encouragement of physical activity as well as dietary management.
- Kaplan, Karen. “In U.S., 38% of Adults And 17% Of Kids Are Now Obese, CDC Study Says.” Los Angeles Times. June 7, 2016. Web. http://www.latimes.com/
- Knapton, Sarah. “Child Obesity Crisis Will Get Far Worse Without Tougher Measures, Warn MPs.” The Telegraph. March 27, 2017. Web.
- Lorenzetti, Laura. “Child Obesity Is Now A Global Crisis.” Fortune. Jan 25, 2016. Web.
- Sahoo, Krushnapriya et al. Childhood Obesity: Causes and Consequences.” J Family Med
Prim Care. 4.2(2015): 187–192.
li> Karnik, Sameera and Amar Kanekar. “Childhood Obesity: A Global Public Health Crisis.” Int J Prev Med. 3.1(2012): 1–7.