I was curious to see what I would
find while researching obesity because I, myself, am also obese. Obesity is when
an individual is grossly fat or overweight. I have been obese since I was a
child and it has followed me into adulthood. I have found numerous articles
that have said that if you don’t start teaching your child at an early age to
eat healthier, then it will continue into adulthood. As well as being a
selective eater plays a role in obesity in children and adults. I wanted to
know more about if you are obese when you are younger will it lead to obesity
as an adult.
For me, I grew up in a household that had
two 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 constantly
eat at fast food restaurants at least 3 or more times during the week. I would
always snack on chips, candy, and other unhealthy foods. It wasn’t until I was
in my first year of college where I began to want to make a change and began
trying to lose weight by working out and eating healthier. I never knew what a
nutrition label meant until I had it explained to me. Then I realized that I
was consuming a lot more calories than what I should be consuming to be at a
healthy weight for my age and height. Based on my height and age my BMI (Body
Mass 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 obesity
is correlated with childhood obesity. In a study from the article, Do obese
children become obese adults,
states that the risk was at least twice as high for obese children to become obese
adults. The children who had an even larger risk were the ones who were obese
at older ages and those who had a higher level of obesity. In the United States
on average, “1 in 3 adults are obese, and 1 in every 6 children (age 2-19) are
obese.” (Stateofobesity.org) Children who are obese from a young age tend to be
at a higher risk for major health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood
pressure and heart diseases that carry over, and sometimes intensify along with
other health concerns, into adulthood. (Stateofobesity.org)
Obesity is when you are over the
normal weight for your body type and have an excessive amount of fat compared
to overall body weight. There are many factors that contribute to a child or an
adult being obese. Some of these include a person’s dietary intake, physical activity,
genetics, and environment. Many of these factors can be preventable, but some
might not be for children compared to adults. Proper education on how to live a
healthy lifestyle can help people make the right choices on what is right for
them. Going to your doctor or talking to a nutritionist can help you make the
right choices for your exact body type. Everyone’s body is different. It helps
to seek a professional opinion because what works for a specific person might
not work for others. In some cases, it may be a simple as a dietary change, or
it could be a more serious issue which will need to be taken care of with
medication or a stricter overall health plan.
Obesity has a lot to do with a
person’s dietary intake which can lead to a child or adult becoming obese. It
would be more of an issue for children because they don’t have the luxury to go
out and get whatever they desire as adults do. Children have to eat whatever
their parent or guardian gives them for food while adults can make their own
food choices. Some children are picky eaters which makes it harder for them to
have their proper dietary needs met. In the article, Selective eaters from
childhood to adulthood it states that “Selective eating persists into later
childhood, and perhaps adolescence and adulthood” (Tine, 61). Children who were
taught to eat healthier at a younger age were more likely to follow that
healthy eating pattern into adulthood. In the article, Eating habits now will
affect how kids eat as adults by Dr. Glazier, had a study done at the
University of Minnesota that followed the eating habits of 2,500 adolescents
from the time they were 15 into their mid 20’s. Researchers found that by
eating healthy at age 15, they developed healthy eating habits that followed
them into their 20’s and beyond.
Physical activity has an impact on
obesity in children and adults. Lack of exercise in adults and children can increase the risk of being obese
because they are not burning enough calories compared to what they are
digesting. By adults and children staying active it can help people remain at a
healthy weight or possibly lose weight. It lowers the risk of heart disease,
diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, as
well as reduce stress and boost mood. “The Department of Health and Human
Services recommends that for the average adult it should be at least 150
minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic, or a
combination of the two, a week.” (Laskowski) Some people work too much or just
don’t have the time in their schedules to exercise which can cause weight gain
and then, in turn, can lead to more serious health issues.
Environmental factors are a
significant contributor to children and adults being obese. If a child lives in
a low-income neighborhood with limited resources, this can put them in a
position to be at a greater risk of becoming obese. “Many low-income neighborhoods are home to an excessive number of
outlets for unhealthy foods, such as fast food restaurants, while concurrently
lacking access to supermarkets, produce markets and other retailers of healthy
food options.” (bmsg.org) The area in which individuals live might not provide
parks, community centers, or other activities for children to play in that
would give them the physical activity to burn calories and control their
weight. Adults can
be affected by not exercising on a regular basis as well. There are also other
influences that contribute to their environment as well such as the people they
are surrounded by and their eating habits. Part of being an adult means that
you are living on your own, paying bills, and working many hours to support yourself
along with having a social life. This can cause stress eating, anxiety, and
depression which is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle and in turn, it would
lead to obesity and other possible stress-related health issues.
supposed to teach their children and set examples for them to help guide them
throughout their lives. Obese parents will affect a child’s environment because
if they themselves are not physically healthy and don’t have healthy eating
habits. Their children are not going to practice the opposite behavior of their
parents. For example, if their parents are eating fried chicken and mashed
potatoes and their child is given a salad. What child would rather have a salad
over some fried chicken and mashed potatoes? Some families have both parents
working and therefore don’t always have time or energy to cook healthy meals.
Most “quick” or “easy” meals are usually unhealthy things like pizza, chicken
nuggets or something you can just put in the microwave. Most fast food options
for kids aren’t very healthy choices either; even adults don’t always have the
best options when it comes to fast food.
Genetics can also contribute
to obesity in children and adults. In the article, how do genes affect obesity
it states that “Genes can directly
cause obesity in disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi
syndrome.” (http://obesity.ulaval.ca) In some cases people are genetically predisposed to obesity, even if
they 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 outside
factors; such as abundant food supply or little physical activity.” (http://obesity.ulaval.ca) It also is saying that sometimes people
who are predisposed to obesity can take preventive measures to help lessen
their chance of becoming obese or at least be able to maintain their weight and
live a healthy life without complications. Not everyone is that fortunate
enough to be able to do that though and depending on their situation they might
not be able to take the proper measures to execute those preventatives.
Obesity in children
that follows them through adulthood can cause many complications throughout their
lifetime. 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 be
prevented if children start taking back their life and making healthier choices
at a younger age. Some of these health issues also make it harder for them to
live healthier lives if not addressed early on. For example, when a child has
asthma it makes it harder for them to get physical exercise properly when they
are not able to without causing themselves more problems. In most cases, it
seems that, unless there is an underlying medical problem, early prevention
methods including healthy choices and regular exercise could greatly reduce the
risk of greater health issues in children that are at risk for obesity.
a child or adult is obese, it needs to be taken seriously by eating a healthy
balanced diet and enforcing physical activity in their daily route. Even though
there are a number of other factors that may be affecting them to continue with
achieving this goal. It has to be done so that they don’t die at a young age. By altering little things in their diet and
cutting out certain juices or soda, this will help them stay on the path to
success. It will also prolong their health and might encourage others in their
family or friends circle to do so as well. We ourselves are our own enemy. But
it is up to us to overcome this and be successful because no one else is going
to do it for us. It is up to the individual.
Glazier, Eve, Dr, and
Elizabeth Ko, Dr. “Eating habits now will affect how kids eats as
Newsok.com, 2017 Newsok.com.,24 Jan.
2017, newsok.com/article/5535051. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.
Van Tine, Meredith L.,
et al. “Follow-Up of Selective Eaters from Childhood to
Adulthood.” Eating Behaviors, vol. 26, Aug. 2017,
pp. 61-65. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2017.01.003.
Frank M, and Michelle Wien. “Childhood Obesity and Adult Morbidities.” The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91.5 (2010): 1499S–1505S. PMC.
Web. 9 Nov. 2017.
“Obesity Rates &
Trends Overview.” Stateofobesity.org, 2004-2017 Trust for America’s
Health and Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, stateofobesity.org/obesity-rates-trends-overview/. Accessed
7 Nov. 2017.
“How do Genes affect
Obesity?” Obesity.ulaval.ca, Research chair in Obesity,
obesity/generalities/genetic.php. Accessed 16 Nov.
Ebbeling, Cara B., et al. “Childhood obesity: public-health crisis, common sense cure.” Thelancet.com, The Lancet Publishing Group, 10 Aug. 2002, corcom130-sp10-advertising.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/Childhood%20obesity.pdf/132419279/Childhood%20obesity.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov. 2017. “Obesity: Environmental strategies for preventing childhood obesity.” Bmsg.org, 2017 Berkeley Media Studies Group, 9 Jan. 2004, www.bmsg.org/resources/publications/obesity-environmental-strategies-for-preventing-childhood-obesity. Accessed 17 Nov. 2017. Laskowski, Edward R. “How much should the average adult exercise every day?” Mayoclinic.org, 1998-2017 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Aug. 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916. Accessed 22 Nov. 2017.