The problem of childhood obesity is one of the most severe problems of modern health care. In almost all countries worldwide, the number of sick children is growing steadily. With the understanding that a significant number of various complications accompany obesity, there is growing interest in the causes of obesity and its prevention on the part of researchers in the medical sphere. Thus, the analyzed articles examine risk factors for childhood obesity, cite statistics, explore prevention measures and propose new ways to deal with a crucial issue.
The article “Risk factors and implications of childhood obesity” summarizes specific statistics and factors associated with childhood obesity. The study aims to examine prevalence rates, the effectiveness of intervention strategies, and the risk of comorbidities in later life. A study of over 6,000 subjects and a period of more than 20 years clearly showed the dependence of diseases at an earlier age on childhood obesity or overweight (Weihrauch-Blüher & Wiegand, 2018). The significance of the work is observed, as measures aimed at changing the situation with childhood obesity are mainly aimed at changing behavior, and human habits show a limited effect.
The author concludes that it is necessary to introduce measures that would better contribute to the achievement of the goal. It is essential to promote healthy food choices by taxing unhealthy one, set nutritional standards in kindergartens and schools, and increase physical activity. Possible disadvantages of the article may be associated with the impossibility of introducing all the proposed measures to prevent childhood obesity. The study contains evidence that the problem of childhood obesity is global, statistics are given, according to which “in 1975 the prevalence of childhood obesity increased eightfold.” (Weihrauch-Blüher & Wiegand, 2018, p. 254).
Considering the role specialization, the study is of great value, as it points to the relationship between early obesity and future health problems. Therefore, the normalization of body weight in childhood and before puberty is becoming more vital.
The following article “Childhood obesity: increased risk for cardiometabolic disease and cancer in adulthood” echoes previous research on the already achieved understanding of the epidemiology, underlying factors, and diseases. It aims at considering the future health implications of childhood obesity and measures to be taken to counter the obesity-causing environment. The studies cited in the article indicate future risks associated with early obesity, manifested as a cardiovascular or metabolic disease; the relationship between obesity and cancer risk is “independent of the timing of obesity.” (Weihrauch-Blüher et al., 2019, p. 157) The significance of this work can also be traced as the information provided reveals figures, cases, and statistics that are relevant at the moment; prevention works slowly, making a devastating impact on the population.
The author also expresses his opinion that the situation should be changed, to achieve this, innovative actions are needed at the individual, environmental and political levels. The article’s disadvantage is that the measures are difficult to translate into reality. There are still difficulties, including the inability to maintain a reduced body weight in the long term due to poor adherence to lifestyle changes of existing measures. This study confirms the existing and potential problem of childhood obesity, showing additional research and disappointing statistics, while the main factors of early obesity are complex and require more attention.
To conclude, obesity in childhood and adolescence has become a health burden around the world, according to the articles. The problem leads to greater morbidity and mortality in adulthood and is close to a crisis. Measures to combat the epidemic aimed at changing the habits and behavior of the population show poor results. The situation needs to be changed; this is only possible if the policy for the prevention of childhood obesity is globally rethought.
Weihrauch-Blüher, S., & Wiegand, S. (2018). Risk factors and implications of childhood obesity. Current obesity reports, 7(4), 254-259.
Weihrauch-Blüher, S., Schwarz, P., & Klusmann, J. H. (2019). Childhood obesity: increased risk for cardiometabolic disease and cancer in adulthood. Metabolism, 92, 147-152.