Childhood Obesity

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Literature Review - Childhood Obesity

Literature Review - Childhood Obesity


Childhood obesity is a subject much discussed across the globe and rightly so, because the number of obese children all over the world has increased steadily over the past decade. There has been a sharp inclination in the rate of prevalence of obesity among children, especially in more developed countries. The poor food intake and sedentary lifestyles, and also other medical reasons which have to be diagnosed, but often ignored by people are the increase explained primarily as the reason for obesity. The importance of proper diet and psychological treatment in this regard is very important. It is now considered as a topic of an epidemic. According to a current estimation, in many countries, one in ten children is obese at the age of 10 years. In this study initially, we will discuss the when a child can be termed as fat, and why do some children, of the same age, same sex, same activity levels, same eating habits, and the same family, put on weight, whereas their siblings do not? The study ultimately will also discuss the factors that cause obesity among child.


Obesity is commonly defined as being 20 percent over the midpoint of one's expected weight range (using the height weight charts) or above 30 on the Body Mass Index. Excessive obesity is defined as weighing almost twice the weight the chart says they should, or above 35 on the Body Mass Index. If the child is the 60th percentile, this result means that 60% of children of similar age and sex have a lower body mass index (Australian Society for the study of Obesity, 2006). Furthermore, Body Mass Index is not an absolute measure and should be used in conjunction with other assessment measures such as the skin fold, the level of physical activity, diet and blood pressure. In Western countries, however, the trends of fashion hold that "thin is beautiful" and the great social pressure toward overweight people has led to an enormous industry for slimming products. Despite this social pressure to be thin, the increasing number of people suffering from obesity is increasing dramatically. For many families, having a child fat, plump, and full of creases is quite an achievement as it shows a sign that the child is strong and full of health. On the other hand, their perception is wrong as this well being of a child can become a basic factor of obesity.

In Australia, over the 10-year period prior to 2005, the proportion of obese boys aged 7-15 years increased from 1.4% to 4.7% (a 3.3% increase), and the proportion of obese girls in this age group increased from 1.2% to 5.5%. In a small 2009 survey of NSW Central Coast primary school children the rate of obesity in children 7-11 years was found to be 9.9% for boys and 7.1% for girls (Australian Society for the study of Obesity, 2006).

If one child is larger than another child of his same age, ...
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