Topic: Childhood obesity in Britain English Coursework

Childhood Obesity in Britain:


Close analysis of the statistics indicates a hike in the cases of childhood obesity across the globe, to a worrisome extent. Moreover, the trend is even worse as far as the United Kingdom is concerned considering that the cases recorded therein apparently have attained pandemic proportions. The Physiopedia(2021) article confirms this astonishing trend by, “recent statistics show that nearly a quarter of the UK adult population are obese, and obesity is rising quickly, therefore it is not surprising that every year obesity in the UK costs the economy £3.5bn”. These figures warrant the nation to declare obesity a pandemic. Funny enough, the causative agents of the prevalent trend lie primarily in the hands of the individuals. One of the predominant causes is the imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure within the body of an individual – which emanates from the nature of one’s lifestyle and dietary preferences. Some lifestyles increase the risks of obese conditions. Such include lack of physical activity among children in that they spend more time on TV shows. Their dietary options such as snacks and junk foods also enhance the obese conditions. Obese conditions expose kids to increased health risks, reduced social competence and poor academic outcomes which calls for proper dietary options, increased physical activity and shunning sedentary lifestyles to ease the impact of these effects on children.
Obesity exposes children to a high risk of developing health issues which will cumulatively have a detrimental effect on their health well-being. Having more weight which is inversely proportional to the child’s age or height is closely connected to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases. Most of them tend to develop high blood pressure at that young age and high cholesterol levels which increase their chances of contracting associated cardiovascular infections in the long run. From the CDC (2021) article, “obese children are at risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes”. These conditions are extremely critical, and they cumulatively add up to poor health. The obese kids can still complications around the joints which will make them have some mixed feelings of discomfort around the musculoskeletal regions. Some can still experience difficulty in breathing through conditions such as asthma and sleep apnoea. In apnoeic conditions, the obese child experiences some patterns of cessation in breathing. The muscles responsible for initiating the inhalation process momentarily stop working and the volume of the lungs remains constant. Moreover, obese conditions add up to the increased future health risks in the child. By virtue of being obese in their childhood, it implies that their chances of being obese in their adulthood are equally high. Furthermore, adult obesity is accompanied by more health conditions such as cancer, diabetes 2 and heart disease. Weighing all the associated health complications of the condition, it is critical to devise preventive measures against the same.
The children’s social competence is negatively affected as a result of obesity conditions, and this poses a hindrance to their social well-being and social development. First and foremost, high weight among school-going children enhances their chances of getting bullied. Such kids tend to attract a lot of attention given that they are generally abnormal as far as body weight is concerned. In this case, their classmates, and colleagues. Peers and sadly some of their teachers also tend to use that aspect to make fun of them. Some use abusive language towards them; a situation that lowers their self-esteem drastically and thus gives way to serious social issues. According to the WHO (2017), “studies indicate that school-aged children with obesity experience a 63% higher chance of being bullied. Also, WHO (2017) affirms that when children and youth are bullied or victimised because of their weight by peers, family and friends, it can trigger feelings of shame and lead to depression, low self-esteem, poor body image and even suicide”. Nothing makes someone uncomfortable like being made fun of. Palermo and Dowd (2012, p.1989) also affirm, “obesity may also be linked to lower skill attainment, poor social competency”. It triggers some form of insecurity and shame thus ruining one’s sense of self-worth. Jackson and Cunningham (2015) concur with this by asserting that, “obesity, a stigmatised attribute, can result in negative social feedback internalised as negative self-concepts, lower self-confidence, and poorer social development. The effects of obesity are long-lasting and very difficult to reverse”. Stigmatisation poses a negative self-concept on the mind of an obese child, thus convincing them that they are entirely worthless; leading to suicidal thoughts accompanied by actual actions. These cumulatively ruin their social competence.
Obese conditions also ruin the academic progress of the child due to the associated challenges that come with it. Academic outcomes are not limited to grades alone. They encompass a string of activities pertaining to school and these include class attendance, active engagement in class and repetition of a grade. Obesity has a close correlation with reduced outcomes from these activities. Vuik, Devaux andVuik(2021) attestto this interrelationship by, “there exists an interrelationship between unhealthy behaviours, obesity and educational outcomes. Behavioural risk factors, such as poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, can directly play a role in both obesity and low concentration at school, resulting in poor performance at school”. Obesity which is also triggered by these unhealthy behaviours greatly affects the child’s concentration level. They tend to have divided attention in class as they spend more time worrying about the stigmatisation they are going through. In such an instance, they will play truancy to avoid stigma and their class attendances will go down. In the long run, their performance in the exams will also be terrible compared to the results posted by average weight children whose focus is entirely on academic work.
One of the mitigative measures of overcoming the effects of obesity entails the adoption of healthy dietary options. The obesity rates among children are extremely rising and unless parents dictate health options as far as their kid’s diets are concerned, the rates will continue to escalate to pandemic proportions. However, this option has to be under the supervision of a physician. The reason is that blindly restricting certain food supplements with the aim of enhancing weight loss among the children can end up denying them certain nutrients which are critical for their growth and development. Parents can prevent or reduce obesity rates by providing healthy meals to their kids. The New York state (2021) article asserts that “healthy meals and snacks provide nutrition for growing bodies while modelling healthy eating behaviour and attitudes”. Such routine practices will prevent the accumulation of fats in the children’s bodies and thus eliminate the likelihood of childhood obesity.
Scheduling routine and regular physical activities for kids are also a solution towards averting the effects that obesity poses on their lives. Physical exercises have the effect of oxidising any fatty acids that could have accumulated in the body tissues and in the process, it will eliminate the possibility of weight gain – preventing the likelihood of the child developing obese conditions. Hills, Andersen and Byrne (2011, p.866)support this argument by saying, “physical activity, and diet, are the cornerstones of obesity prevention and management. Optimal nutrition in combination with regular physical activity during the growing years increases the likelihood of a healthy pattern of physical maturation consistent with the genetic potential of an individual child”. This assertion reveals the extent to which physical activity is of significance particularly to the child as it sets the foundation of a healthy lifestyle in them. Logically, it makes a lot of sense considering the fact that it is close to impossible to begin exercising as an adult when one never did it in their childhood; the same way you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, those who did it over and over will have an easy time reflecting on the old days while at the same time keeping fit.
Unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles greatly contribute towards poor health and they should be shunned if conditions like obesity have to be combated. For most of the children across the globe, such a lifestyle fascinates them; operating between the television and the kitchen. This scenario explains the high cases of obesity among children. In order to manage the situation, parents and teachers should be on the frontline to dictate healthy lifestyles for their kids. For instance, they should regulate the amount of time children spend on the television so that they spend a lot more on physical activities. Boulos et al. (2012, p.146) confirm this by saying, “one proposed explanation for the association between television viewing and obesity is that hours spent in front of the television displace time spent in physical activity”. Such are kinds of situations that need to be revisited and corrected so as to bring down the alarming trend of childhood obesity.
The government also has a role to play regarding solving the impact of childhood obesity by supporting activities that enhance healthy living. Novak and Brownell (2012) affirm that “other government policies have moved beyond the collation of clinical information to more proactive social marketing approaches that aim to motivate the population to change their diet and exercise habits”. For instance, the government can enhance healthy dietary habits by imposing heavy taxes on unhealthy junk foods, thus discouraging their consumption. In this case, a bigger chunk of the population will go for affordable healthy foods thus minimising the prevalence of obese cases.
Summarily, obesity affects the child’s life health-wise, socially and academically and it is critical to take measures like healthy dietary options, increased physical activity and shunning sedentary lifestyles with the help of government policies. With all these measures in place, individuals will embrace healthy lifestyles and cases of obesity will dwindle and disappear completely.

References
Boulos, R., Vikre, E.K., Oppenheimer, S., Chang, H. and Kanarek, R.B., 2012. ObesiTV: how television is influencing the obesity epidemic. Physiology &Behavior, 107(1), pp.146-153.
CDC, 2021. Childhood obesity causes & consequences.[Online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html[Accessed 29/6/2021].
Hills, A.P., Andersen, L.B. and Byrne, N.M., 2011. Physical activity and obesity in children. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(11), pp.866-870.
Jackson, S.L. and Cunningham, S.A., 2015. Social competence and obesity in elementary school.[Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265926/[Accessed 29/6/2021].
New York State, 2021. Preventing childhood obesity: tips for parents. [Online] Available at: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/resources/obparnts.htm[Accessed 29/6/2021].
Novak, N.L. and Brownell, K.D., 2012. Role of policy and government in the obesity epidemic. [Online] Available at: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.037929[Accessed 29/6/2021].
Palermo, T.M. and Dowd, J.B., 2012. Childhood obesity and human capital accumulation. Social Science & Medicine, 75(11), pp.1989-1998.
Physiopedia, 2021. Discussion about why the rise in obesity in the United Kingdom (UK) is reaching epidemic proportions and the role that the physiotherapist has to play in reversing this trend. [Online] Available at: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Discussion_about_why_the_rise_in_obesity_in_the_United_Kingdom_(UK)_is_reaching_epidemic_proportions_and_the_role_that_the_physiotherapist_has_to_play_in_reversing_this_trend[Accessed 29/6/2021].
Vuik, M.D.S., Devaux, M. andVuik, S., 2021. The relationship between childhood obesity and educational outcomes: the heavy burden of obesity. [Online] Available at: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/641a2e79-en/index.html?itemId=%2Fcontent%2Fcomponent%2F641a2e79-en[Accessed 29/6/2021].
WHO, 2017.World obesity day: understanding the social consequences of obesity. [Online] Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity/news/news/2017/10/world-obesity-day-understanding-the-social-consequences-of-obesity[Accessed 29/6/2021].

Type Of Service : Academic Paper Writing
Type of Assignment : Coursework
Subject : English
Pages / Words : 6/1600
Number of Sources : 10
Academic Level : Undergraduate
Paper Format : Harvard
Line Spacing : Double
Language Style : UK English

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