Anderson, P., Butcher, K., & Schanzenbach, D. (2019). Understanding recent trends in childhood obesity in the United States. Economics & Human Biology, 34, 16-25. Web.
This research examines a variety of datasets containing information on childhood obesity. The authors analyze the existing data as a whole, throughout the age spectrum, across birth cohorts, and for specific subgroups of interest. They show consistent rises in cohort-level obesity prevalence till about age 10, with levels remaining stable thereafter, indicating the need for further treatments at a young age. Obesity prevalence has been found to differ by race and gender in recent years, particularly among kindergarten-age children.
5-year-olds in 2010 were 2 percentage points more likely to suffer from obesity when compared to the same demographic in 1997. After applying the key demographic characteristics, it was revealed that obesity was 5 percentage points higher in Black and Hispanic 5-year-olds, respectively, and 1 percentage point higher in whites (Anderson et al., 2019). However, the pace of rise in obesity from kindergarten to third grade has slowed in recent years, both overall and across all subgroups. These findings, taken together, can help to shape future research literature that attempts to focus obesity therapies where they will have the greatest impact. When establishing the conclusion, they state that the correlation between social barriers, greater likelihood of poverty and childhood obesity.
These patterns are noteworthy and point to a possible direction for further investigation. Environments for children younger than kindergarten appear to be becoming increasingly obesogenic, particularly for black and Hispanic boys. At the same time, the school-aged results show that the pace of obesity rise has moderated, calling into question the validity of the statement. Understanding what successful treatments are for early childhood, as well as the possible heterogeneous impacts of interventions for both early childhood and school-age children, is critical.
Weihrauch-Blüher, S., & Wiegand, S. (2018). Risk factors and implications of childhood obesity. Current Obesity Reports, 7(4), 254-259. Web.
This study outlines the current understanding of the variables related with childhood obesity, including the most recent prevalence rates, the effectiveness of intervention options, and the risk of later-life illness. Its methodology follows a standard analysis of a set of literature, most of which focuses on reshaping obesity therapies toward community-based/environment-oriented strategies to counteract an obesogenic environment. This approach is widely recognized as the most effective one in the long-term struggle against obesity. It satisfies the need to act quickly, since moderate obesity before puberty is connected with a greatly higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in middle age.
Intervention techniques for childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity have demonstrated extremelly modest impacts to date and are insufficient for long-term effectiveness in most nations throughout the world. As a result, revisiting and revising existing guidelines and recommendations is required: community-based or environment-oriented techniques such as those indicated above are urgently needed to halt the global obesity epidemic (Weihrauch-Blüher & Wiegand, 2018). Normalization of body weight from infancy and before puberty is becoming increasingly crucial since many obese children remain obese into adulthood and obesity is associated with considerably increased morbidity and death later in life. To combat the obesity epidemic, every effort should be done, including dietary interventions, exercise and, potentially, medication.
The results systemize the quantitative data on the subject of childhood obesity throughout the years and are consistent enough in methods for the effort to be plausibly continued. They also demonstrate significant correlation between some of the most negative effects of obesity and shaming culture imposed on patients in earlier life. Different forms of bullying towards obese children act a an additional difficulty in their recovery process. Potential limitations include lack of field research and directly verifiable evidence, meaning most of the presented conclusions directly stem from the second-hand analysis.