I was curious to see what I wouldfind while researching obesity because I, myself, am also obese. Obesity is whenan individual is grossly fat or overweight. I have been obese since I was achild and it has followed me into adulthood.
I have found numerous articlesthat have said that if you don’t start teaching your child at an early age toeat healthier, then it will continue into adulthood. As well as being aselective eater plays a role in obesity in children and adults. I wanted toknow more about if you are obese when you are younger will it lead to obesityas an adult. For me, I grew up in a household that hadtwo working parents. My dad worked nights, and my mom worked during the day.
They both only cooked on weekends, when they were off work. We would constantlyeat at fast food restaurants at least 3 or more times during the week. I wouldalways snack on chips, candy, and other unhealthy foods. It wasn’t until I wasin my first year of college where I began to want to make a change and begantrying to lose weight by working out and eating healthier. I never knew what anutrition label meant until I had it explained to me.
Then I realized that Iwas consuming a lot more calories than what I should be consuming to be at ahealthy weight for my age and height. Based on my height and age my BMI (BodyMass Index) I should weigh 189 pounds. But unfortunately, I weigh 400 pounds.Which is double the standard weight for my height and age. According to many studies, adult obesityis correlated with childhood obesity. In a study from the article, Do obesechildren become obese adults,states that the risk was at least twice as high for obese children to become obeseadults. The children who had an even larger risk were the ones who were obeseat older ages and those who had a higher level of obesity.
In the United Stateson average, “1 in 3 adults are obese, and 1 in every 6 children (age 2-19) areobese.” (Stateofobesity.org) Children who are obese from a young age tend to beat a higher risk for major health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high bloodpressure and heart diseases that carry over, and sometimes intensify along withother health concerns, into adulthood. (Stateofobesity.org) Obesity is when you are over thenormal weight for your body type and have an excessive amount of fat comparedto overall body weight. There are many factors that contribute to a child or anadult being obese. Some of these include a person’s dietary intake, physical activity,genetics, and environment.
Many of these factors can be preventable, but somemight not be for children compared to adults. Proper education on how to live ahealthy lifestyle can help people make the right choices on what is right forthem. Going to your doctor or talking to a nutritionist can help you make theright choices for your exact body type. Everyone’s body is different. It helpsto seek a professional opinion because what works for a specific person mightnot work for others.
In some cases, it may be a simple as a dietary change, orit could be a more serious issue which will need to be taken care of withmedication or a stricter overall health plan. Obesity has a lot to do with aperson’s dietary intake which can lead to a child or adult becoming obese. Itwould be more of an issue for children because they don’t have the luxury to goout and get whatever they desire as adults do. Children have to eat whatevertheir parent or guardian gives them for food while adults can make their ownfood choices. Some children are picky eaters which makes it harder for them tohave their proper dietary needs met. In the article, Selective eaters fromchildhood to adulthood it states that “Selective eating persists into laterchildhood, and perhaps adolescence and adulthood” (Tine, 61). Children who weretaught to eat healthier at a younger age were more likely to follow thathealthy eating pattern into adulthood.
In the article, Eating habits now willaffect how kids eat as adults by Dr. Glazier, had a study done at theUniversity of Minnesota that followed the eating habits of 2,500 adolescentsfrom the time they were 15 into their mid 20’s. Researchers found that byeating healthy at age 15, they developed healthy eating habits that followedthem into their 20’s and beyond. Physical activity has an impact onobesity in children and adults. Lack of exercise in adults and children can increase the risk of being obesebecause they are not burning enough calories compared to what they aredigesting. By adults and children staying active it can help people remain at ahealthy weight or possibly lose weight.
It lowers the risk of heart disease,diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, aswell as reduce stress and boost mood. “The Department of Health and HumanServices recommends that for the average adult it should be at least 150minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic, or acombination of the two, a week.” (Laskowski) Some people work too much or justdon’t have the time in their schedules to exercise which can cause weight gainand then, in turn, can lead to more serious health issues. Environmental factors are asignificant contributor to children and adults being obese. If a child lives ina low-income neighborhood with limited resources, this can put them in aposition to be at a greater risk of becoming obese.
“Many low-income neighborhoods are home to an excessive number ofoutlets for unhealthy foods, such as fast food restaurants, while concurrentlylacking access to supermarkets, produce markets and other retailers of healthyfood options.” (bmsg.org) The area in which individuals live might not provideparks, community centers, or other activities for children to play in thatwould give them the physical activity to burn calories and control theirweight.
Adults canbe affected by not exercising on a regular basis as well. There are also otherinfluences that contribute to their environment as well such as the people theyare surrounded by and their eating habits. Part of being an adult means thatyou are living on your own, paying bills, and working many hours to support yourselfalong with having a social life. This can cause stress eating, anxiety, anddepression which is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle and in turn, it wouldlead to obesity and other possible stress-related health issues. Parents aresupposed to teach their children and set examples for them to help guide themthroughout their lives. Obese parents will affect a child’s environment becauseif they themselves are not physically healthy and don’t have healthy eatinghabits. Their children are not going to practice the opposite behavior of theirparents. For example, if their parents are eating fried chicken and mashedpotatoes and their child is given a salad.
What child would rather have a saladover some fried chicken and mashed potatoes? Some families have both parentsworking and therefore don’t always have time or energy to cook healthy meals.Most “quick” or “easy” meals are usually unhealthy things like pizza, chickennuggets or something you can just put in the microwave. Most fast food optionsfor kids aren’t very healthy choices either; even adults don’t always have thebest options when it comes to fast food. Genetics can also contributeto obesity in children and adults. In the article, how do genes affect obesityit states that “Genes can directlycause obesity in disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willisyndrome.
” (http://obesity.ulaval.ca) In some cases people are genetically predisposed to obesity, even ifthey were living a healthy lifestyle it wouldn’t necessarily make a difference.But the article also states that “Genes do not always predict future health.Genes and behavior may both be needed for a person to be overweight. In some cases,multiple genes may increase one’s susceptibility to obesity and require outsidefactors; such as abundant food supply or little physical activity.” (http://obesity.ulaval.
ca) It also is saying that sometimes peoplewho are predisposed to obesity can take preventive measures to help lessentheir chance of becoming obese or at least be able to maintain their weight andlive a healthy life without complications. Not everyone is that fortunateenough to be able to do that though and depending on their situation they mightnot be able to take the proper measures to execute those preventatives. Obesity in childrenthat follows them through adulthood can cause many complications throughout theirlifetime. As with adults, “obesity in childhood causes hypertension, dyslipidemia,chronic inflammation, increased blood clotting tendency, endothelial dysfunction,and hyperinsulinemia.” (Ebbeling, 473) A lot of these illnesses can beprevented if children start taking back their life and making healthier choicesat a younger age.
Some of these health issues also make it harder for them tolive healthier lives if not addressed early on. For example, when a child hasasthma it makes it harder for them to get physical exercise properly when theyare not able to without causing themselves more problems. In most cases, itseems that, unless there is an underlying medical problem, early preventionmethods including healthy choices and regular exercise could greatly reduce therisk of greater health issues in children that are at risk for obesity. Whena child or adult is obese, it needs to be taken seriously by eating a healthybalanced diet and enforcing physical activity in their daily route. Even thoughthere are a number of other factors that may be affecting them to continue withachieving this goal. It has to be done so that they don’t die at a young age. By altering little things in their diet andcutting out certain juices or soda, this will help them stay on the path tosuccess.
It will also prolong their health and might encourage others in theirfamily or friends circle to do so as well. We ourselves are our own enemy. Butit is up to us to overcome this and be successful because no one else is goingto do it for us. It is up to the individual. Works Cited Glazier, Eve, Dr, andElizabeth Ko, Dr. “Eating habits now will affect how kids eats asadults.” Newsok.
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