By: Shreya Mulpari
Over time, the once-unknown factors behind increasing health problems continue to come to light. Of these problems, we are seeing a rise in health conditions within children and adolescents. Specifically, childhood obesity is a major focus and complex health issue that must be taken into consideration.
Childhood obesity patterns can be observed in several areas of the world, but in particular, these patterns can vary to a greater extent in developed countries. This may be a direct result of the growing franchises of fast food chains. More recently, childhood obesity is a direct result of the lack of physical activity and increasing patterns of unhealthy eating.
According to research, in the United states, the frequency of childhood obesity was stable in the 1960s and 1970s. However, an increase in this frequency was observed starting in the 1980s. The evidence collected from the research that identified these years supports the idea that obesity is an epidemic that began fairly recently.
Childhood obesity being labeled as an epidemic makes this topic crucial and brings up questions as to why this problem still exists since the trends noticed in the 1980s. Additionally to the problems of less physical activity and unhealthy eating, psychological problems within young individuals are becoming more prevalent. From personal, family, school stress overeating is seen as a method of coping to deal with these emotional feelings.
Obesity within young individuals is generally a trend seen in many people. Personally, this past year has been quite difficult to handle and I found that eating assisted me in coping to the changes. Eating helped me with the lack of social interaction I had, increased stress through virtual school and in general the boredom from sitting at home.
Starting from the basics, childhood obesity can be prevented within evolving generations by changing the diets of young people. Families can provide more home cooked and healthy proportions of food. Schools can teach healthy eating habits. Most importantly, “modeling healthy eating behavior and attitudes” can be an efficient step towards progressing away from childhood obesity problems.
Department of Health. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/resources/obparnts.htm.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, December 5). Childhood obesity. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20354827.
von Hippel, P. T., & Nahhas, R. W. (2013, October). Extending the history of Child obesity in the United States: The Fels Longitudinal Study, birth Years 1930-1993. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3695078/.