Sunday, 9 October 2016

Childhood Obesity - Review of Assorted Literature

Childhood obesity is a health disorder caused by excessive energy storage, in the form of fat tissue, relative to the lean body mass. Thus, it occurs when energy intake grossly exceeds energy expenditure. The condition can be quantified and qualified through a set of obesity measurements (Cheung et al., 2015). A peer-reviewed entry entitled, Childhood Obesity: A Global Public Health Crisis, which was published by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, described the following obesity measurements as useful for qualifying and quantifying childhood obesity: weight to height ration, body mass index (BMI), skin thickness, and; the waist to hip ration (Karnik & Kanekar, 2015). Furthermore, obesity should be graphically represented in relation to growth charts so as to assess its impact on the rate of growth (Gurnani, Birken & Hamilton, 2015). Regarding the obesity measurement tools; Karnik & Kanekar recommended that the following measurement tools should be used: body density, bioelectrical impedance analysis, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, air displacement plethysmography, dual-energy X-ray absorptometry; and skin ultrason (2015).
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The prevalence of childhood obesity has doubled in the past three decades, with 50% of the increase occurring within the past 15 years (Karnik & Kanekar, 2015). Presently, childhood obesity affects approximately one-fifths of all American children (Cunningham, Kramer & Narayan, 2014)The condition affects both developing and developed nations equally; with Latin America, North Africa, and the Caribbean nations registering prevalence rates that closely approximates the prevalence rates in USA and Canada. The only exception is the sub-Saharan region of Africa where food insecurity has caused malnutrition to predominate as the dominant nutritional disorder (Gupta et al., 2012). Additionally, the trends in childhood obesity show that the 6-11 years age group and the 12-19 years age group are the most affected age-groups (Ogden et al., 2012).
In North America, the minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the condition with African-American and Afro-Canadian being the most affected ethnic group. The prevalence rate of the condition among Native-Americans and Hispanics is approximately 24% (Karnik & Kanekar, 2015). Moreover, the peer-reviewed entry entitled; The global childhood obesity epidemic and the association between socio-economic status and childhood obesity, which was published by the International Review of Psychiatry; noted an inverse relationship between the condition and the socio-economic status (Wang & Lim, 2012).
Childhood obesity can be qualified through classification into three broad groups based on etiology; idiopathic, endocrine and genetic. The condition is associated with the following endocrine disorders; growth hormone deficiency, hypercortisolism and hypothyroidism (Park & Ahima, 2015). Likewise, a systematic review published under the title: Childhood obesity and risk of the adult metabolic syndrome: a systematic review; has associated childhood obesity with the development of metabolic syndrome (Lloyd, Langley-Evans & McMullen, 2012). Moreover, a recent peer-review study which was published under the title; Craniopharyngioma and hypothalamic injury: latest insights into consequent eating disorders and obesity, showed that childhood obesity is associated with hypothalamic damage (Müller, 2016).
Childhood obesity is caused by a combination of environmental, genetic and psychosocial factors. Correlation studies have shown that identical twins tend to have almost identical BMIs and that adopted children tend to have almost similar BMIs as their biological parents. The environmental factors that are known to precipitate the condition are high-caloric-density meals, supersized portions; and decreased energy expenditure due to a sedentary lifestyle (Gurnani, Birken & Hamilton, 2015).
The management of childhood obesity entails lifelong weight control, reduction in energy intake, increased energy expenditure; and maintenance of normal growth. Dietary therapy, in combination with physical activity, aids in treating the condition. Physical activity programs can be incorporated into the existing school programs. Pharmacotherapy also aids in managing the condition. Even so, education remains the cornerstone in preventing the condition from arising (Gurnani, Birken & Hamilton, 2015).
Cheung, P. C., Cunningham, S. A., Naryan, K. V., & Kramer, M. R. (2015). Childhood Obesity Incidence in the United States: A Systematic Review.Childhood Obesity.
Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. V. (2014). Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411.
Gupta, N., Goel, K., Shah, P., & Misra, A. (2012). Childhood obesity in developing countries: epidemiology, determinants, and prevention. Endocrine Reviews33(1), 48-70.
Gurnani, M., Birken, C., & Hamilton, J. (2015). Childhood Obesity: Causes, Consequences, and Management. Pediatric Clinics of North America62(4), 821-840.
Karnik, S., & Kanekar, A. (2015). Childhood obesity: a global public health crisis. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012. 3 (1), 1-7.
Lloyd, L. J., Langley-Evans, S. C., & McMullen, S. (2012). Childhood obesity and risk of the adult metabolic syndrome: a systematic review. International Journal of Obesity36(1), 1-11.
Müller, H. L. (2016). Craniopharyngioma and hypothalamic injury: latest insights into consequent eating disorders and obesity. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity23(1), 81.
Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2012). Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Jama307(5), 483-490.
Park, H. K., & Ahima, R. S. (2015). Endocrine Disorders Associated with Obesity.

Wang, Y., & Lim, H. (2012). The global childhood obesity epidemic and the association between socio-economic status and childhood obesity.International Review of Psychiatry24(3), 176-188.

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