Childhood Obesity in the United States

Childhood obesity has been a huge health issue in the United States and needs to be taken more seriously. In the article I read, a study was done to see how children from ages 5-6 (kindergarten) to 14-15 (eighth grade) were when it came to being overweight or obese. The results of the study showed that 12.4% of children entering kindergarten were obese and 14.9% were overweight. When these same children reached eighth grade, 2.8% were obese and 17.% were overweight. This clearly shows that the rate of obesity in children is continuing to increase with age. This explains the horror of the fact that many adults are obese in the United States today.

 When it comes to health in children, I think that it is very important to get children to eat healthier early on in their lives so that they are used to a healthy life style. Schools also play a huge role in this as well because, most of the day, children are usually in school or at day care. If schools and these facilities are serving a healthier menu, that alone can help with the percentages of obesity in children. It is also up to parents to keep their children on track when it comes to healthy food choice, and also being keeping them active. This can easily be done by getting more children involved in sports or some kind of physical activity; even if it’s for just thirty minutes a day.

One initiative in the government that stands out to me is First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. It is an initiative to decrease child obesity in the country and get children on a track to a healthier lifestyle. The website for this includes facts about childhood obesity, ways to eat healthier, and also ways to get active. The website even gives options for ways you can get involved and things you can do to get started in allowing children to live a healthier and longer life.

Cunningham, Solveig A, et. al. “Incidence of Childhood Obesity in the United States”. New England Journal of Medicine 370 (2014), assessed August 8, 2014.

http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/docview/1492958884/fulltextPDF/B89D26365E44C77PQ/8?accountid=12598

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative: letsmove.gov

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Shelby Brewington says:

    After reading this article, I thought it was extremely sad that so many children in the United States are struggling with their weight. It is sad to realize that many of these children will then have to deal with severe physical illnesses associated with being over weight or obese. Drawing on the course materials I believe that researchers in this article were using clinical anthropology methods along with a biomedical approach in order to asses the rates and causes or linking factors associated with childhood obesity in the United States. I think that through the use of clinical anthropology, a better understanding of what cultural, and economical issues were correlated with the higher rates of childhood obesity seen as children age and go through different developmental stages. Through the use of clinical anthropology doctors and medical professionals were better able to educate parents and schools on how to try and combat childhood obesity, and provide a better platform for the education on changing ones lifestyle such as which foods are both nutrient rich and cost efficient and also suggesting certain amounts of exercise that are age appropriate for children. Through understanding the associated factors that are contributing to the increase in childhood obesity doctors can better educate parent on how to prevent it.

  2. Krystn Hartner says:

    Reading this article made me realize how child obesity is a huge problem in the United States today. Many adults are obese because of the obesity status that they obtained during their 5 to 14 years as children. Throughout this article, the researchers used the biomedical approach in order to look at the factors affecting child obesity. Through this approach the researchers observed the disorder as having social and cultural factors that contribute to it. Poorer social statuses and Hispanic cultures are most likely to have a higher rate of obesity than other cultures and economic statuses when they are in elementary school.

    Applying anthropology to better understand this global health problem is crucial to doctors and medical professionals. If the doctor can understand where the underlying cause of obesity is coming from then they will be able to help give the best advice to solve the issue. As doctors they can provide the best knowledge to the people who have this health problem and guide them in as many ways as possible to obtain a lower weight. Seeing other cultures treatments to this health problem could also help the doctors find new methods of treatment to better help the social and/or cultural group they are dealing with.

  3. Krystn Hartner says:

    Reading this article made me realize how child obesity is a huge problem in the United States today. Many adults are obese because of the obesity status that they obtained during their 5 to 14 years as children. Throughout this article, the researchers used the biomedical approach in order to look at the factors affecting child obesity. Through this approach the researchers observed the disorder as having social and cultural factors that contribute to it. Poorer social statuses and Hispanic cultures are most likely to have a higher rate of obesity than other cultures and economic statuses when they are in elementary school.

    Applying anthropology to better understand this global health problem is crucial to doctors and medical professionals. If the doctor can understand where the underlying cause of obesity is coming from then they will be able to help give the best advice to solve the issue. As doctors they can provide the best knowledge to the people who have this health problem and guide them in as many ways as possible to obtain a lower weight. Seeing other cultures treatments to this health problem could also help the doctors find new methods of treatment to better help the social and/or cultural group they are dealing with.

  4. Krystn Hartner says:

    Reading this article made me realize how child obesity is a huge problem in the United States today. Many adults are obese because of the obesity status that they obtained during their 5 to 14 years as children. Throughout this article, the researchers used the biomedical approach in order to look at the factors affecting child obesity. Through this approach the researchers observed the disorder as having social and cultural factors that contribute to it. Poorer social statuses and Hispanic cultures are most likely to have a higher rate of obesity than other cultures and economic statuses when they are in elementary school.

    Applying anthropology to better understand this global health problem is crucial to doctors and medical professionals. If the doctor can understand where the underlying cause of obesity is coming from then they will be able to help give the best advice to solve the issue. As doctors they can provide the best knowledge to the people who have this health problem and guide them in as many ways as possible to obtain a lower weight. Seeing other cultures treatments to this health problem could also help the doctors find new methods of treatment to better help the social and/or cultural group they are dealing with.

  5. Rolando Barajas says:

    Reading the article it was not very surprising to find that children who are overweight or obese at a young age will develop obesity as they get older “The incidence of obesity between the ages of 5 and 14 years was 4 times as high among children who had been overweight at the age of 5 years as among children who had a normal weight at that age”. Although it was surprising that there is such a high rate of incidence of obesity. They had done a longitudinal study on a kindergarten class from 1998 to 2007 measuring their BMI several times and recording their findings. They then found that in order to deal with this health issue it is important to target the eating patterns of children in order to stop them from being overweight at a young age. They also thought that it is important to analyze “age of 5 years are questions about how early the trajectory to obesity begins and about the relative roles of early-life home and preschool environments, intrauterine factors, and genetic predisposition”
    It great that they thought of applying an ecological view (analyzing the preschool environment) when it comes to childhood obesity because we know that certain stress from an individual’s environment can cause many health risks.

  6. holechri says:

    The figures used in this article provide a great backing to the argument. It is surprising to see how obesity is such a huge problem. I understood how the problem of obesity was reaching an all-time high, however I initially assumed the problem was waning. Predisposition to future obesity is a huge thing to pay attention to in situations where the child was overweight throughout most of childhood. Another huge important factor that anthropology can add is the breakdown in the lifestyle traits of the individual. By studying the lifestyle, the doctors can root out the underlying reason for obesity in the person. Understanding the root is a key point in anthropological methods because once you find the foundation, you can build a series of points on top of the initial root. The building of a full understanding is similar to a upside-down pyramid where the blocks on top are building off of the single block at the bottom. Once this reason is found, the behavioral trait that is causing the obesity can be removed from the lifestyle of the individual. Aside from this, the constant improvement and change of medicine in every location requires all of the medical professionals to continue to learn new methods and understand different approaches to treatment in order to provide the best care possible.

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