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Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity


Childhood obesity is a medical condition that involves the accumulation of excess fat that affects children as well as teenagers. Obese children are characterized with overweight above the average weight when compared to the height and age. However, the causes of the childhood obesity are similar to the causes of obesity in adults. Such causes are surfaced in the genetic presentation and behaviors of individuals. The behavioral causes include the mode of eating, type of food eaten as well as beverages, how often one undertake physical activities, inactive living and proper medication.

The development of obesity is caused by interaction of various factors ranging from biological, environmental, behavioral, social, cultural and economic[ CITATION Sah15 l 1033 ]. In addition, obese children experience breathing difficulties, cardiovascular disease, joint pains and may suffer from type 2 diabetes because of impaired glucose tolerance. Nutrition plays a major role in causing obesity in children eating food with high contents of sugar, calories, salt and fat in the food outlets, restaurants, groceries and supermarkets making children take large portions even without noticing the dangers. The society and families limit the recreational activities to the children by building in ways that makes it hard for children to access playgrounds.

The interventions to control the rate of obesity in children is often characterized with the encouragement towards development of healthy eating habits as well as regular physical activities rather than advocating for weight loss[ CITATION Deh05 l 1033 ]. It is therefore important to mention that the ultimate goal of childhood obesity management is to prevent obesity and not to reduce body fatness[ CITATION Jac13 l 1033 ]. The management of childhood obesity demands the inclusion of all the stakeholders in the society from the clinicians, schools food services and policy makers to regulate the availability of junk and fast foods to children. Social marketing, community awareness campaigns, health education promotion and the enhancement of the physical activities is essential in preventing childhood obesity.

Obesity in childhood poses challenges to the obese children in various ways, as they are prone to suffer from psychological stress leading to depression[ CITATION Jac13 l 1033 ]. In addition, obese children experience low self-esteem because of the rejection by the peers especially because of being inactive due to the overweight. They feel unwanted and left out of the group thus low self-reported quality of life because of the impaired social, physical and emotional functionability. The fact about the obese children is that they are likely to be obese in their adulthood thus health conditions becoming more serious and severe.


Dehghan, M., Danesh, N., & Merchant, A. (2005). Childhood obesity, prevalence and prevention. Nutritional Journal , pp, 4-24.

Jackson, C. (2013). Childhood Obesity: Causes, Management and Challenges. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Sahoo, K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A., Sofi, N., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. (2015). Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, pp, 187–192.