Literature Review on Childhood Obesity

1852 words 8 pages
Literature Review on Childhood Obesity


Obesity is a growing problem among U.S. children. In 1994, one in five children between the ages of 6 and 17 was overweight. This is double the rate of 30 years ago (National Center for Health Statistics, 1999). This adverse trend has potentially profound effects on children's health, including their long-term health. The terms "obese" and "overweight" often are used interchangeably. Technically, "obesity" is the upper end of "overweight." Obesity is clinically diagnosed as: greater than 90th percentile for weight for height; or greater than or equal to the 95th percentile Body Mass Index (BMI), age and sex specific. The gold standard is becoming the BMI, since this is also used
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There are several ways television contributes to childhood obesity:
• Watching TV requires no energy above resting metabolic rates.
• TV reduces the time the child spends in energetic activities, such as running and playing. In other words, it's not what the child is doing but rather what he/she is not doing while watching TV.
• The foods most heavily advertised on TV are high in calories: candy bars, sugared cereals, etc.
• The slim figures of TV stars may indirectly suggest to children that high calorie food and drinks have little effect on weight.
• TV characters are typically snacking, not sitting down for well-balanced meals. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1996) conducted a study in the last 20 to 30 years show a strong correlation between obesity and lack of physical activity. Nearly half of youths aged 12 to 21 years old are not vigorously active on a regular basis. Lifestyles and behaviors are established early in life. Therefore, it is important to focus early on healthful behaviors. The first step is to assess the readiness of the child and family to engage in a weight-management program. Review the child's diet and physical activity habits. The primary goals of obesity therapy should be healthful eating and activity. Begin treatment early, involve the family, and make step-by-step permanent changes. (Barlow, Dietz, 1998) "Parenting skills are the foundation for successful


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