Reducing Body Mass IndexI Measures in School-Aged Children

Introduction

The problem of childhood obesity has been on the agenda of American healthcare for quite a while (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2014). According to a recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018), around 18.5% (13.7 million) of patients aged 2-19 have been affected by obesity. Currently, the Body Mass Index (BMI) rates are very high among school-aged children in the United States, which implies that the existing framework for managing obesity needs improvements. By using physical exercises such as 30-minute runs, one will be able to attain significant results in reducing BMI rates among school-aged children.

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Definition

The use of the BMI as a bodyweight measurement device allows identifying the presence of weight issues and possible development of obesity with impressive precision (Ogden et al., 2014). BMI, in turn, is calculated by dividing the body mass in kilograms by weight in meters (Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan, 2014). According to the existing definition, school-aged children with a BMI of 85-95 are classified as overweight, whereas those with their BMI over 95 are regarded as obese (Ogden et al., 2014). The suggested definition helps determine the presence of a problem at the earliest stages of its development and manage the needs of overweight patients successfully.

Epidemiology

The causes of developing weight issues that eventually lead to obesity include an unhealthy diet and the lack of healthy eating habits (Pate et al., 2016). When reinforced by aggressive marketing promoting junk food, the specified trends in the behavior of children and adolescents become a rather troubling tendency (Cunningham et al., 2014). The sedentary lifestyle that a major number of children in the U.S. lead nowadays also contributes to the enhancement of weight-related disorders (Ogden et al., 2014). Therefore, a change in eating habits and the use of physical exercises can be seen as a positive change.

Clinical Presentation

As a rule, the disease manifests itself rather clearly in children, with changes in their weight becoming evident rather soon. The failure to lose weight to attain a healthy BMI is the primary sign of weight issues and, particularly, obesity development in children (Pate et al., 2016). However, comorbid disorders also emerge quite often in children suffering from unhealthy weight gain. As a result, fatigue, shortness of breath, and the associated issues can be observed in children developing obesity.

Complications

Weight gain and obesity, in particular, have a detrimental effect on a child’s health by causing a wide variety of complications. For instance, a steep rise in blood pressure is one of the primary negative effects of childhood obesity. In addition, an increase in weight causes a child’s musculoskeletal system to experience a significant strain, thus leading to the possibility of bone and joint issues. Sleep disorders and liver disease also occur rather often in children with weight problems. Finally, mental health issues triggered by bullying from other children may become a possibility (Pate et al., 2016). Thus, there is an array of complications following childhood obesity.

Diagnosis

The diagnostic criteria for weight problems and obesity in children include the levels of BMI mentioned above (85-94 and above) and other individual characteristics such as eating habits and family history (Ogden et al., 2014). The process of diagnosing the problem also includes the assessment of a child’s activity level (Cunningham et al., 2014). As a result, a rather accurate picture of the factors in a child’s environment that may cause the development of weight gain and obesity is presented.

Conclusion with PICOT Question

Preventing and addressing childhood obesity is crucial since the disease also leads to the development of a vast number of health issues. When considering the essential factors defining the progress of the disease in children nowadays, one must mention the sedentary lifestyle that most of them lead. Thus, introducing exercises such as running as a part of a school’s curriculum must be regarded as a necessity. Therefore, the PICOT question can be put in the following way: In school-aged children (P), how does an exercise program in school like 30 minutes running (I) compared to no exercise program in school (C) reduce BMI measures (O) at the end of the school year (T)?

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References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Childhood obesity facts. Web.

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. Web.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA, 311(8), 806-814. Web.

Pate, R. R., Brown, W. H., Pfeiffer, K. A., Howie, E. K., Saunders, R. P., Addy, C. L., & Dowda, M. (2016). An intervention to increase physical activity in children: A randomized controlled trial with 4-year-olds in preschools. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(1), 12-22. Web.

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