Research on the epidemic of obesity in the United States demonstrates that in the past decade, the number of adults and children classified as overweight or obese has increased drastically (Evans & Renaud, 2006). In particular, researchers have noted that at the present time, 15 percent of all children and adolescents combined are either overweight or obese. Because many overweight and obese children go on to become overweight and obsess adults there is a clear impetus for public health officials to be concerned with the recent increases in the number of overweight and obese children. At the present time, obesity costs the US more than $93 billion in healthcare costs each year and is one of the most preventable sources of disease that is currently present in the population. Thus, public health officials are now attempting to work with children to reduce the prevalence of obesity and develop a generation of healthier adults (Evans& Renaud, 2006).Despite the fact that researchers have been able to track the development and increase of obesity among children and adolescents, addressing this problem in terms of successful outcomes proves to be a pervasive challenge for most public health officials. Mo-suwan, Pongprapai, Junjana and Puetpaiboon (1998) note that, As in adults, the maintenance of weight reduction after treatment in poor in children.
[...] Prevention of Obesity Clearly the issue of childhood and adolescent obesity is one that has notable ramifications for the health and well being of the individual, in childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. With the realization that obesity can have such a profound impact on the development of the child, many public health officials have advocated for the development of prevention programs as a central means to improve adolescent health. Caballero (2004) in his examination of the methods that have been proposed to improve outcomes for obese and overweight children observes: Prevention is widely recognized as an indispensable strategy to turn the tide of the global epidemic of obesity. [...]
[...] Changing perceptions of the childhood obesity epidemic. American Journal of Health Behavior, 167- 176. Floodmark C.E., Ohlsson, T., Ryden, O., & Sveger, T. (1993). Prevention of progression to severe obesity in a group of obese school children treated with family therapy. Pediatrics 880-884. Gortmaker, S.L., Peterson, K., Weicha, J., Sobol, A.M., Dixit, Fox, M.K., et al. (1999). Reducing Obesity via a school-based interdisciplinary intervention among youth: Planet Health. Arch Pediatr Adolescent Med 409-18. Herbozo, S., Tantleff-Dunn, S., & Gokee-Larose, J., (2004). [...]
[...] While it is evident that a lack of exercise has been widely implicated as one of the most pertinent causes of obesity in children and adolescents, many researchers assert that diet also plays a mitigating role in the development of obesity. Kranz (2004) examined the impact of diet on the total development of children and found that dietary intake is critical for the overall health of the child and the adult. According to this author, “Since dietary behavior tracks well from early childhood, the establishment of healthy eating patterns at a very young age might support better diet during childhood and thus in adults” (p. [...]
[...] In this investigation, researchers examined the impact on exercise on the development of obesity in kindergarten children in Thailand. Subjects included 292 kindergarten children in two elementary schools. One school was given no intervention, while the second school was given an exercise program consisting of a 15 minute walk before school and a 20 minute aerobic exercise program in the afternoon. The intervention was applied three days a week for a total of 29.6 weeks. The results of the investigation show a reduction in weight related measurements—weight, triceps skinfold thickness—in both groups. [...]
[...] Gortmaker, Peterson, Weicham, Sobol, Dixit, Fox, et al., (1999) examined the overall effectiveness of a school-based intervention for reducing obesity in boys and girls in grades 6 to 8. Using students from 5 control and 5 intervention schools, the overall rates of obesity among children were examined. The intervention was applied over the course of two years, though implementation into the existing curriculum. “Sessions focused on decreasing television viewing, decreasing consumption of high-fat foods, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and increasing moderate and vigorous physical activity” (p. [...]
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