Obesity has been associated to quite a number of diseases and conditions in adults, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer (Blocker & Freudenberg, 2001). Risk factors for these diseases are markedly increased in obese patients like high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure and such, this factors can also brought by the children into their adulthood, this points to long term health outcomes of the obese child into her/his adulthood.
It has been noted that the first stages of atherosclerosis are found in children as young as three years old (Blocker & Freudenberg, 2001). It is also of note that diabetes of the non-juvenile type are now prevalent in children and young adults, many experts believe that this is because of a higher percentage of overweight and obese children. Persistence into adulthood. A great concern for many is that obese children are more likely to be obese adults bringing with them the health, social and psychological consequences that are associated with being overweight and obese.
Note the three significant factors that affect prevalence of obese children to adulthood are age of onset, severity, and parental obesity. Research has found that the risk was higher in an older age of onset, like obesity in adolescence for obesity in adulthood, it was also found that the risk for adult obesity was larger in children who are extremely obese (Serdula, 1993). A double risk for adult obesity is found in children with obese parents (Whittaker, 1997). Psychological and Social health Effects. Obesity has social, psychological and emotional penalties.
Our society illustrates emphasis on being thin and skinny, with models strutting at the runway looking like walking pogo sticks, and nice looking clothes paraded around that can only fit petite figures add to that a variety of misapprehensions and misconceptions about being overweight and of obesity in general. In this regard, children who are obese are often treated differently that their more slimmer and thinner peers. They can be subjected to intense teasing and ridicule many times over and this may be considered as the most demoralizing effect of being obese as a child, and which may even persist into adulthood.
One should consider that obese children may feel cut off and forlorn, different from their peers and not in a good way. This can lead to a low self-esteem and identity problems that can lead to several other problems. It is vital that one is sensitive with regards to the subject matter of obesity and to understand that an individual’s self-assurance, especially that of a child’s, is ultimately affected by self-image and awareness of shown by their peers.
Curing Obesity One can note that in children it is quite rare for obesity therapy to focus on having the child lose weight but rather it is more focused on halting gaining weight process in order to let the child grow into the ideal weight for his child over a period of time. It was projected that for every 20 percent of excess weight, a year and a half is needed in order for the child to attain the ideal weight. (Dietz, 1983).
When dealing with obesity the family is recommended to be involved with the treatment program, in this regard the family must also be ready for changes that will include them, changes in diet or physical activities, habits and norms of the family may also be changed if an intervention program for an obese child is to work. The family that is not ready for inevitable changes that will occur it is best to consult a qualified therapist in order for them to realize the ramifications and consequences of being in a program to control obesity.
Physical, mental and emotional preparation is needed by the whole family before any intervention program can be facilitated (ExRx. net). Treatment should involve permanent changes, not short term diets or exercise regimens aimed at rapid weight loss. Small, gradual, and targeted changes in activity and diet should be implemented. A flexible and a balanced approach to eating and exercise should be encouraged. A program for overweight children should reduce the rate of body weight gain while allowing growth and development.