Childhood obesity and ia there an issue

Essay by leshi_lou November 2008

download word file, 9 pages 2.3

"Childhood Obesity and is There an Issue"Increasing obesity is both a social phenomenon and a public health problem. Typically a healthy body weight is defined as a BMI of 15.5 to 25.0 kg/m2 for New Zealand Europeans and 18.5 to 26.0 kg/m2 for Maori and pacific island people. Waist circumference should be less than or equal to 102 cm in men and 88cm in woman. One study showed that of the 576,900 New Zealand children in the five - 14 year age group at the time of survey approximately 15,000 would be extremely obese. Of those about 6,000 would be of pacific island ethnicity, with another 6,000 Maori and 3,000 New Zealand European. The bio-physical approach to obesity focuses on the energy equation - more energy out than in - and remedies focus on restoring a balance through eating better and being more active. However, the socio-economic, gender and ethnic differences demonstrate that obesity is also a consequence of social structures and cultural practices.

This is where we have to think beyond simply too much food and not enough exercise and ask ourselves what pressures fuel the prevalence of childhood obesity?In the home by controlling food availability, eating and physical activity practices, parents play a very important role in shaping their children's home environments, diet, food preferences, and physical activity levels. However, because of changes in family structure and employment, children frequently experience disrupted family life and less "quality time" with their parents. Compared with previous generations, today's youth are more likely to live in divorced or single-parent households, have fewer siblings, have an employed mother, spend time in day care, or spend afternoons home alone. For an ever-growing number of children and adolescents, the "latchkey" phenomenon adversely affects psychological development, eating style, physical activity and weight status, and...