Prevention of Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity has been regarded as one of the fast growing health concern all over the world. All most all of the developed and industrialized countries are facing this problem. Scholars, professionals and health ministries across the globe have conducted vast an amount of research in this field in order to find the exact reasons behind this epidemic and, thereafter find a solution based on these findings.

However, the task is easier said than done as the reasons are so complex and diverse that all most all of the studies and investigations have revealed contrasting reasons (though some reasons and solutions remain same) and different set of solutions. The very amount of research material is enormous and demands careful and professional handling. In this thesis, I am going to explore a new thought towards the prevention of the childhood obesity.

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My area of investigation is to know whether there is more need of research in this direction (of preventing childhood obesity), and whether we have implemented the suggestions given so far by eminent and scholarly professionals who researched the matter for years in a satisfactory demeanour. Hence this research paper stands different from all other previous papers in the very fact that this is a ‘research on the research’, and more importantly ‘scrutinizing the scrutiny’, and eventually, arriving at a ‘remedy of remedies’.

Childhood obesity has far reaching implications on an entire nation. The fact that youth makes the building blocks of a nation; and that a healthy childhood will yield the healthy crop of youngsters to the nation, poignantly proves the how solemn and staid this issue is. The socio-economic fabric of a well-established economy may be shattered if the problem is not going to be addressed with due diligence. Not only that, there will also be the predicament of the quality of life getting compromised, or worse, getting declined.

And, no nation or society would like to see their future being stuck between the wheels of inertia and obesity. Governments across the world are funding and commissioning study panels heavily to come up with a game-plan to tackle the menace of obesity, but the convolution of the problem has kept the graph of its ill-effects always up. We must understand that the problem is not caused by any foreign body (as in the case of viral infections or diseases caused by microbes) or by any immunity related defects, but by the unhealthy lifestyle.

This is one certain point with which all most all experts would agree. The inactive lifestyle and changing perceptions about the so called luxurious life (often confusing it with the quality of life) are the prime culprits for this problem. Technology also has its own share in the fast paced growth of this obesity pandemic. Television viewing, than any other technological adversities, is the most prominent reason for the childhood obesity. In addition to TV, the ever changing PC gaming industry has also contributed heavily to make the children glued to their chairs.

Nevertheless, these technological entertainment gadgets, and concepts have made the task of making children active, inactive. The senseless advertising of junk food items and the exhibition of provocative programmes that encourage junk eating or binge eating is another reason which we must not miss to pay attention to. These all aspects are responsible for sedentary life style. Recent data from England and Scotland highlights alarming stats, with the prevalence of overweight in boys increasing from 3. 6% to 9–10%, and in girls by 4. 1–5.

4% to 13. 5 and 14. 8% in the decade 1984–94. The prevalence of obesity increased correspondingly, reaching 1. 7% (English boys), 2. 1% (Scottish boys), 2. 6% (English girls), and 3. 2% for Scottish girls (Chinn S, Rona, 1974-1994:322:24-26). Experts and scholars have tried and tested many solutions to prevent the prevalence of obesity. In the forthcoming chapters we will explore many such elucidations. These studies conducted over a specific period of years have yielded valuable information regarding the over-weight and childhood obesity.

All these studies are most important for our analysis as they will form the indispensable core from where we draw facts and findings to scrutinize. Eventually these all studies and their corresponding explorations will provide us ample knowledge to arrive at a solution to prevent the prevalence of the childhood obesity. In this dissertation, we will analyze the research works of various medical experts, scholars and nutrition professionals. A number of remedies, methods, and solutions suggested by these studies will be scrutinized.

The goal, as declared at the very beginning, would be to investigate whether there is a need for more studies regarding obesity and thereby to ascertain the exact reasons and accurate solutions for the prevention of childhood obesity. 2. Background: It is a well-known fact that obesity is increasing worldwide with great alacrity despite various measurements taken by the governments across the globe. Certain life-style trends seem to be propagating in the same negative direction which is acting as the hurdle in the path of containing this epidemic of childhood obesity.

Hence it becomes imperative that we understand the background of such a thesis work even before commencing our analytical explorations of various researches conducted in this regard. As outlined in the introduction part, the reasons responsible for the epidemic of childhood obesity are manifold. The healthcare departments (of various nations) have devised different response strategies to tackle the adverse effects of the childhood obesity. Counselling by the treating doctor or a healthcare professional or a nutrition expert is one most common way of responding to the obesity in children.

However it is ineffective as mere counselling will not alter or change the cause behind it – means that the BMI (Body Mass Index) of such children may or may not give ideal results. Here the importance of statistical monitoring cannot be neglected (Tech Rep Ser 1995; 854: 1–452). There must be an internationally accepted and applied method to address such statistical data pertaining to the trends in the prevalence of the childhood obesity.

For example: The use of Body Mass Index (BMI) has so many significances and practical advantages that it is widely used across the world and thus helps to keep the records (from across the globe) in right perspective thereby, assisting in the research process to expand in the right direction. Plus, BMI is based on anthropometric parameters such as body weight and the height, it is easy to measure the BMI and keep a track of it. In certain studies this BMI has been taken as the basic component to measure the obesity trends across the globe in various countries (U S Adv Data from Vital and Health Stat 2000; 314: 1–27)

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