Obesity is a multidimensional disease based on many factors that are combined to make someone prone to become obese. It is the combinations of genetics, nature which cannot be changed, and environment, nurture since these are built and can be changed (Wardlaw, Smith, Lindeman 258). There has been much research done and still they cannot find a particular gene that specifically identify if a person is more susceptible to this disease (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic”). There are genes for processes that occur in the body that can effect on if a child is more prone to gaining weight and becoming obese (Wardlaw et al., 258). These genes determine the metabolic rate (the burning of calories from food items), fuel use (the ability to break down glucose for energy use), and differences in brain chemistry (the chemicals that tell the brain what should be done) (Wardlaw et al., 258).
In the environment there are disparities that make some children more likely to become obese (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 27). Some disparities are sex, socioeconomic status, and geographical location (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 27). Women are more likely than men to be obese because women usually have more fat in their composition than men (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 27). Having a lower socioeconomic status does not allow children to have as many resources as someone with a higher socioeconomic status (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 28). The lack of resources, such as money to buy fresh nutritious food, means that they will need to buy cheap food. Cheap food is tends to be processed, high calorie foods. Another disparity is geographical location, since in some areas there are no grocery stores nearby, limiting the healthy food options since few can be bought in the area (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 28). The neighborhood might not be safe so it is difficult for the child to go out and play since it can be dangerous. It is the sad truth that these disparities are so embedded in the society that they can have such an effect on the children. It is not allowing all children living in the United States to an equal lifestyle. This issue needs to have all sectors involved, especially policy changes, so that we can change how society is built. Only then will children not have as many of these issues and remain unknown to the fact that their surroundings are making them sick and they are unable to really make any changes alone.
After the disparities are alleviated it is then personal choices as to what actions they are going to take for their own well being. These personal lifestyle choices occur daily. Are they going to sit and watch TV or are they going to put on music and dance? Or deciding on what they are going to eat. Is it going to be a prepared TV dinner or is it going to be whole grain pasta with vegetables? It is all about the habits that they have learned to live by. And in many cases that is what needs to be changed. The next post is going to explore the technology world we live in today and the affects that it is making on children.
United States Senate. “Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic.”
U.S. Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 4
March 2010. Hearing. Web. 1 November 2013.
Wardlaw, Gordon M., Anne M. Smith, and Alice K. Lindeman. “Contemporary Nutrition: A
Functional Approach.” New York: McGraw Hill. 2012. Print.