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Review of Childhood Obesity: From Epidemiology, Etiology, and Comorbidities to Clinical Assessment and Treatment
- 1 Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Electronic address: [email protected]
- 2 Department of Pediatrics and Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
- PMID: 28065514
- DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.09.017
Childhood obesity has emerged as an important public health problem in the United States and other countries in the world. Currently 1 in 3 children in the United States is afflicted with overweight or obesity. The increasing prevalence of childhood obesity is associated with emergence of comorbidities previously considered to be "adult" diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and dyslipidemia. The most common cause of obesity in children is a positive energy balance due to caloric intake in excess of caloric expenditure combined with a genetic predisposition for weight gain. Most obese children do not have an underlying endocrine or single genetic cause for their weight gain. Evaluation of children with obesity is aimed at determining the cause of weight gain and assessing for comorbidities resulting from excess weight. Family-based lifestyle interventions, including dietary modifications and increased physical activity, are the cornerstone of weight management in children. A staged approach to pediatric weight management is recommended with consideration of the age of the child, severity of obesity, and presence of obesity-related comorbidities in determining the initial stage of treatment. Lifestyle interventions have shown only modest effect on weight loss, particularly in children with severe obesity. There is limited information on the efficacy and safety of medications for weight loss in children. Bariatric surgery has been found to be effective in decreasing excess weight and improving comorbidities in adolescents with severe obesity. However, there are limited data on the long-term efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery in adolescents. For this comprehensive review, the literature was scanned from 1994 to 2016 using PubMed using the following search terms: childhood obesity, pediatric obesity, childhood overweight, bariatric surgery, and adolescents.
Copyright © 2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Pediatric obesity: Current concepts. Greydanus DE, Agana M, Kamboj MK, Shebrain S, Soares N, Eke R, Patel DR. Greydanus DE, et al. Dis Mon. 2018 Apr;64(4):98-156. doi: 10.1016/j.disamonth.2017.12.001. Epub 2018 Jan 10. Dis Mon. 2018. PMID: 29329689 Review.
- Childhood obesity. Kumar S, Kaufman T. Kumar S, et al. Panminerva Med. 2018 Dec;60(4):200-212. doi: 10.23736/S0031-0808.18.03557-7. Epub 2018 Oct 5. Panminerva Med. 2018. PMID: 30303357 Review.
- Pediatric Obesity-Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Styne DM, Arslanian SA, Connor EL, Farooqi IS, Murad MH, Silverstein JH, Yanovski JA. Styne DM, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Mar 1;102(3):709-757. doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-2573. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017. PMID: 28359099 Free PMC article.
- Screening and Interventions for Childhood Overweight [Internet]. Whitlock EP, Williams SB, Gold R, Smith P, Shipman S. Whitlock EP, et al. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2005 Jul. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2005 Jul. PMID: 20722132 Free Books & Documents. Review.
- Associations between obesity severity and medical comorbidities for children with obesity in low intensity hospital intervention. Tsao-Wu M, Williams RJ, Hendy HM, Novick MB. Tsao-Wu M, et al. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2019 Nov-Dec;13(6):555-560. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2019.11.001. Epub 2019 Nov 30. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2019. PMID: 31791923
- Sonographic Markers Are Useful for Detection of Early Vascular Deterioration in Children with Overweight/Obesity: Effect of a 1-Year Combined Nutritional Education and Physical Exercise Program. Abellaneda Millán M, Morillas-Ruiz JM, Ballester Sajardo R, Guillén Martínez D, Morales Moreno I, Hernández Morante JJ. Abellaneda Millán M, et al. Nutrients. 2023 Feb 10;15(4):894. doi: 10.3390/nu15040894. Nutrients. 2023. PMID: 36839251 Free PMC article.
- A Multi-Component Educational Intervention for Addressing Levels of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors of Schoolchildren. Vilardell-Dávila A, Martínez-Andrade G, Klünder-Klünder M, Miranda-Lora AL, Mendoza E, Flores-Huerta S, Vargas-González JE, Duque X, Vilchis-Gil J. Vilardell-Dávila A, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 9;20(4):3003. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20043003. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023. PMID: 36833697 Free PMC article. Clinical Trial.
- Relationship between Overweight/Obesity and Social Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorder Children: Mediating Effect of Gray Matter Volume. Cheng W, Sun Z, Cai K, Wu J, Dong X, Liu Z, Shi Y, Yang S, Zhang W, Chen A. Cheng W, et al. Brain Sci. 2023 Jan 21;13(2):180. doi: 10.3390/brainsci13020180. Brain Sci. 2023. PMID: 36831723 Free PMC article.
- Students from a Public School in the South of Chile with Better Physical Fitness Markers Have Higher Performance in Executive Functions Tests-Cross-Sectional Study. Alonso-Cabrera J, Salazar F, Benavides-Ulloa J, Parra-Rizo MA, Zapata-Lamana R, Diaz-Vargas C, Vásquez-Gómez J, Cigarroa I. Alonso-Cabrera J, et al. Behav Sci (Basel). 2023 Feb 20;13(2):191. doi: 10.3390/bs13020191. Behav Sci (Basel). 2023. PMID: 36829420 Free PMC article.
- Weight management recommendations for youth with Down syndrome: Expert recommendations. Ptomey LT, Oreskovic NM, Hendrix JA, Nichols D, Agiovlasitis S. Ptomey LT, et al. Front Pediatr. 2023 Feb 3;10:1064108. doi: 10.3389/fped.2022.1064108. eCollection 2022. Front Pediatr. 2023. PMID: 36819200 Free PMC article. Review.
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“One out of every five children in the U.S. is overweight or obese” (“Obesity in Children”), and as the number rises the significance of the problem grows. Obesity is a widespread epidemic that is taking a toll not only on the US, but also other parts of the world. There are many causes for obesity in young children that stem from genetics, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. Obesity in children not only puts them at many risks for disease during their early ages, but also puts them at risk for problems later in life.
These risks for disease can be prevented through the combined efforts of parents, doctors, government, school systems, and the children themselves. People are starting to take action against childhood obesity in numerous ways so that they can shape the lives of children and adults by encouraging healthier lifestyles now and in the future.
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Childhood obesity’s various causes and effects are increasing at epidemic proportions; however, through different ways of prevention childhood obesity can make a turn for the better in the future.
Obesity can be defined as an excessively high amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass (“Childhood Obesity: The Effects”). Obesity is the result of a “caloric imbalance” which is when too few calories are expended for the amount of calories consumed (“Childhood Obesity Facts”). A child is not obese until his or her weight is at least ten percent higher than what is recommended for his or her height and body type (“Obesity in Children And Teens”).
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People that become obese at a young age are at a high risk of becoming overweight in their adulthood. If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that the child will be, and if both parents are obese than the child has an 80 percent chance (“Childhood Obesity: The Effects”).
Obesity generally starts between the ages of 5 and 6, or during adolescence. Studies show that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming obese when he or she enters adulthood (“Obesity in Children And Teens”). One of the most important ways to decide whether someone is obese or not is based on BMI or Body Mass Index. BMI uses a mathematical formula, in which a person’s weight in pounds is divided by the square of the person’s height in inches and this result is then multiplied by 703. Then, the BMI-for-age and gender specific is put on a growth chart and the person’s condition is determined. BMI over the 95th percentile is considered overweight or obese (“Childhood Obesity: The Effects”).
As more and more children join the BMI percentile considered obese, the statistics increase. Thirty percent of adults who are categorized as obese got this way from problems in childhood. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6 to 11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. In the same time period, obese adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have increased from 5 percent to 21 percent (“Childhood Obesity Facts”). In 2005 a study showed that 12.5 million U.S. children and adolescents are considered obese, and with this number the average lifespan of all children could be lowered by up to five years (Manning). Although obesity is one of the easiest medical conditions to detect, it is one of the most difficult conditions to treat as obesity numbers grow to epidemic proportions.
There is no single factor or behavior that causes obesity. Two of the most common factors that can be linked with the cause of obesity are genetic factors and lack of physical activity (“Obesity in Children”). Genetic factors affect obese children when the child’s parents are obese or there is history of obesity in their family. However, genetics are not the only cause of obesity, and other factors must take place (“Causes”). Lack of physical activity is becoming a more common factor as children are spending more time inside, and less time outside, or being active. Since technology is becoming a huge part of modern children’s lives, activities such as watching television, gaming, texting, and playing on the computer, all of which require very little energy, replace the physical activities which the children should be taking part in. Also, when children watch television, they often see commercials for unhealthy high-calorie snacks, and thus crave these foods. Another source for obesity is medical conditions, and although it is rare, it does sometimes occur. Hormone disorders or low thyroid function, and certain medications, can cause a child’s appetite to increase, which in time can increase their risk for obesity (“Causes”). Also, if a child has a medical illness such as neurological problems, they can become obese (“Obesity in Children And Teens”).
Unhealthy eating habits are a prominent cause of obesity in children. When children are at young ages, their parents will tell them to finish everything on their plate, which forces the children to ignore their fullness. When this behavior is repeated over many years, it becomes a habit, and can cause a person to eat whether they are hungry or full, and the habit is often very hard to break. Also, when parents have less time to plan and prepare healthy meals, their child usually ends up eating more processed and fast foods that are less healthy than home-cooked meals. If a child’s parents or siblings are overweight and have poor diet and exercise habits, the child is most likely to adopt these same habits (“Causes”). When stressful life events or changes, such as divorce, moves or deaths occur in a child’s life, they often seek food for comfort (“Obesity in Children And Teens”).
As well as in the home and family, school and community resources also influence a child’s habits regarding diet. Vending machines and convenience stores rarely sell healthy foods, however they make it easy to grab a quick snack that is usually high in calories or fat. Restaurants reinforce the unhealthy habit by advertising high-calorie foods and large portion sizes. Schools have an important role in teaching students about healthy food choices and exercise, however not all schools offer these healthy choices or time for physical activity (“Causes”).
These causes, which lead to obesity, have many immediate and long-term effects. Some of the immediate effects include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, prediabetes, bone and joint problems, and skin conditions such as fungal infections and acne (“Obesity in Children”). Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults, which puts them at greater risk for adult health problems. A few of these long-term effects include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and osteoathritis (“Child Obesity Facts”). However, some diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, which are thought of to be long-term effects, have increased dramatically in overweight children and adolescents (“Childhood Obesity: The Effects”).
Childhood and adolescent obesity also has many mental health effects, and is associated with increased risk of emotional problems. The most immediate consequence of being overweight is social discrimination and low-self-esteem. In 2003 a study asked 106 children between the ages of 5 and 18 to rate their quality of life based on things like their ability to walk more than one block, play sports, sleep well, get along with others, and keep up in school. The study showed that obese children would often rate themselves with scores as low as those of a young cancer patient on chemotherapy. The results showed that teasing at school, difficulties playing sports, fatigue, sleep apnea and other problems severely affected the children’s well-being (“Childhood Obesity: The Effects”). Low-self-esteem leads to many cases of depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder found in obese children (“Obesity in Children And Teens”).
Although obesity greatly affects a person’s well being, there are many ways to prevent obesity from becoming worse and to help obese children get on the right path for adulthood. Children and adolescent’s dietary and physical behaviors are influenced by many parts of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food, beverage, and entertainment industries (“Childhood Obesity Facts”). One of the most successful ways to help an obese child is through his or her family, by providing support and helping to make lifestyle changes. Family members can plan activities such as walking, biking, or swimming, and can reduce the amount of sedentary activities (“Obesity in Children”).
Parents can lower the amount of fatty and sugary foods the child is eating, and can emphasize healthy eating by having fruits, vegetables and low-fat snacks available (“Childhood Obesity: The Effects”). Schools also play a crucial role in establishing a supportive environment, by providing the children with opportunities to learn about and practice a healthy eating and physical lifestyle (“Childhood Obesity Facts”). Children can also attend support groups, which are helpful because the others around them are dealing with the same issue. When a child or adolescent also has emotional problems, a psychiatrist can work with the family’s physician to develop a treatment plan, that would include weight loss goals, dietary and physical activity management, behavior modification, and family involvement. Obesity often becomes a lifelong issue, so by learning at a younger age to eat and enjoy healthy foods in moderate amounts and to exercise regularly can prevent the child from ever becoming obese (“Obesity in Children And Teens”).
As the importance of prevention spreads, more and more communities nationwide are taking steps to fight against childhood obesity. Many foundations have been started, such as the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, which declared a goal of reversing childhood obesity by 2015 and has put millions of dollars into the effort. The Wood foundation partnered with the YMCA of the USA to bring together activists, government officials, school administrators and parents, the medical community, and other leaders to broadcast a possible attack on the problem. The foundation funded efforts in 6 states and 32 communities. They have created policy changes in communities, such as purchase of healthier food and serving it in schools, the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables at corner stores, and increasing physical activity in school and after school programs and in the community through better transportation systems such as bicycle and walking trails (“Communities”). Foundations are attempting to make the purpose of physical activity and following a healthy diet a use of the opportunities children have to be active and healthy, rather than being a chore (“Obesity in Children”).
Obesity is an ongoing epidemic that is affecting a bounteous number of children every day. There are lots of causes for obesity in youth that can expose them to disease and other problems during their early childhood and adolescence, as well as later in life. However, these immediate and long-term effects are being noticed and are starting to be prevented. People across the nation are becoming involved in foundations that are trying to hinder childhood obesity and take steps toward healthier lifestyles for children. Although childhood obesity has a profuse count of causes and effects, and the statistics show an intimidating growth in numbers, prevention of childhood obesity can make for a healthier society and a decrease in the amount of people who are impacted by this malady.
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60 Unique and easy Childhood Obesity research paper Topics
Childhood Obesity research paper topics
Childhood obesity is a common topic for most research papers in college, and selecting one question to research can be hectic. Topic selection is one of the main ways to start writing a research paper and you need to get it right.
To help you make a better selection, we have explained and listed 60 research paper topics that a student can write research papers about childhood obesity. Each of these topics is wide enough to write a long paper , either an essay or a research paper.
Obesity can be described as the abnormal, excessive accumulation of fats in one’s body that puts the individual’s health at risk. The condition is common in children and the childhood obesity research paper topics we present in this write up can be used in conducting research.
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60 childhood obesity research paper topics to make your homework unique.
Here, is an extensive list of childhood obesity topic for your research paper and can make your paper unique and impressive among the rest. We briefly discuss 20 of them and list 40 other topics for the topic.
1. Discuss the main causes of obesity among children in your state.
Obesity in children is said to be mostly caused by eating habits that are not healthy, lack of involvement in physical activities and a variety of genetic factors.
2. Does obesity influence the academic performance of a child
Obesity can cause a deterioration in the academic performance of school-going children if they are subjected to social pathways such as stigma and discrimination. Children feel alone because they are not involved in any interactions.
3. Are children raised by single parents more likely to suffer obesity?
Many researchers identify that single-mother raised children are at a ahigher risk of becoming obese because they carry dangerous amounts of weight as they grow due to lack of energetic and boisterous play from their fathers.
4. Explain how exercise can be encouraged among children to reduce risks of obesity
In order to encourage your kids to exercise motivate them and invite their friends to help them in exercise. Do the right timing and mix it with a little play.
5. How can institutions such as high schools reduce rates of obesity?
Schools can reduce the level of obesity by changing the school meals to healthier ones, providing water throughout and making physical exercise lessons for the whole school mandatory.
6. How are new-borns affected by the mother’s obesity?
Genetic studies have proved that it is possible that obese pregnant women are at risk of passing obesity to their unborn children who may also experience metabolic diseases in the future.
7. Can obesity be termed as a mental illness?
Obesity causes diabetic disease type 2 and cardiovascular disease which affects the child psychologically. Several studies also prove that most people with mental illnesses are obese.
8. Can obesity in children be fought through surgery?
A surgery known as bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery can be significant in helping obese individuals lose large amounts of weight and is accompanied by life style changes and like exercise and diet change.
9. Can obesity in children be considered an international illness?
According to the World Health Organization obesity is one of the visible and most neglected health problem around the world and it recommends that action be taken to prevent a global health crisis.
10. Do vegetable diets prevent obesity?
Vegetables must be included in a healthy diet. They have low levels of sugar, fats, and salt that plays a role in making sure you don’t gain weight.
11. Effects of obesity on the self-development of the child and self-esteem.
Despite being subjected to discrimination that lowers self-esteem children that are obese develop conditions such as hypertension, sleep disorders, Dyslopodemia and type 2 diabetes which affects their early development.
12. How does advertising affect obesity rates in the United States
Most junk foods and drinks adverts target children and youths and influence them more to increased junk consumption therefore rising the rates of obesity. These adverts overshadow nutrition adverts.
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13. Describe whether obesity in children is a chronic or a non-chronic disease
Due the factors that obesity is wide spread and it can lead to serious health problems such as the cardiovascular disease, the American Medical Association termed it as a chronic disease.
14. Is the fast-food industry causing an increase in obesity rates in the U.S
Fast food restaurants play a huge role in causing obesity. This is because many home diets don’t include fast foods, leaving the restaurants as the number one source where fast foods are acquired.
15. Are female children at a high risk of obesity than male children.
Many researchers have established that girls are more likely to be obese than boys as they grow due to the biological high percentage of body fats in the bodies of girls.
16. Do children in urban areas have more chances of experiencing obesity than those in rural areas.
Trends in cities of consumption of unhealthy foods have spread widely in rural areas and people view them as a way of becoming diverse. Developments also scrapped duties that were a form of exercise hence making obesity more rapid in rural areas.
17. Explain the life expectancy of children suffering from obesity.
To write this paper, you will need life expectancy data to back up your arguments. Obesity in children has proved incurable. It may cause between two to five years of decrease in life expectancy of children as compared to their parents according to multiple studies.
18. Should the government focus on reducing obesity among children?
The government should be involved in fighting obesity because it is not one individual’s task. Increasing taxation on production of junks foods and promoting healthy habits are some activities the government can be involved in.
19. How are insulin resistance and obesity connected among children?
Due to the factor that obesity causes type 2 diabetes, it has been proved that obesity can develop insulin resistance. This development is caused by release of fatty acids, hormones, and glycerol.
20. How obese parents risk their children being obese.
If parents are not involved in obese preventative activities, then there is a likelihood of the children being obese. This includes parents not controlling the consumption of fast foods by their children and low involvement in physical exercise activities.
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40 more Childhood Obesity topics for your research paper
- Reasons for child obesity in well-developed countries.
- How do the obesity rates of children relate to the obesity rates of adults?
- How do childhood abuse and neglect relate to obesity in adulthood?
- In what ways do obesity in children affect the community
- For children with obesity can restrictions of isocaloric fructose be effective.
- Effects of electronic medical records on screening and diagnosing obesity in children
- Influence of childhood obesity on their parents.
- Which stage of childhood and child development is obesity rampant.
- How can we prevent children from coming in contact with junk food?
- Our physical education programs in schools effective enough to prevent obesity.
- Who should be more responsible in preventing obesity in children between parents, the government, mass media and educational intuitions?
- Should there be a defense that junk food manufacturers display warning statements on the food labels?
- Do a child’s behavior and lifestyle of the family influence the risk of obesity?
- How can the society we live in address the issue of obesity?
- How can be nutrition programs be made available to parents with children?
- Can breastfeeding prevent obesity during childhood?
- Discuss ways in which childhood obesity affects the overall growth of a child
- Why will the obesity rates continue to rise among children?
- Can culture be a contributing factor in causing obesity?
- Why are immigrants and their children more prone to obesity?
- Analyze and give a report on obesity in children in your area of residence.
- Analyze and give a report on obesity among the children of your country.
- Explain why obese children should not be subjected to discrimination?
- How do the economic status of the parents’ cause obesity in children?
- Compare the rates of obesity in your country with the rates in neighboring countries and the rest of the world.
- Should the manufacturing of junk foods liked by children be banned?
- What is the difference between overweight children and children suffering from obesity?
- Access the medication for the treatment of obesity based on the effectiveness and side effects.
- Examine obesity in children from a psychological perspective.
- Does heart failure relate to obesity in children?
- Explain the digestive diseases that are associate with obesity in children.
- What role can nurses play in the prevention and cure of obesity in children?
- Access the influence of corn syrup on obesity among children.
- Draw a comparison between obesity and anorexia in children.
- Explore why child obesity is lower in developing countries
- Discuss the reasons why child obesity is not taken seriously as a problem in the US.
- Discuss the role of diet in the emergence of child obesity.
- What measures can be taken to tackle child obesity in your state
- How can we promote positive self-image and self-esteem among obese children
- What ethical principles should we observe when dealing with obesity among children.
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Childhood Obesity 2 Abstract Obesity is a chronic health condition that is increasing at alarming rates in the United States, particularly among low-income children. This literature review examines several of the factors that place low-income children at risk for developing obesity: environmental (i.e., lack of access
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Child Obesity Kailey O’Brien Position I Paper English Composition II Increase in Child Obesity Childhood obesity has become a significant problem affecting children ages 6-19 years old. It is the most prevalent current medical problem in the U.S. and other developed countries.