Humanities
American University of Beirut Healthy Eating Options in the Dining Hall Memo

american university of beirut

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American University of Beirut Healthy Eating Options in the Dining Hall Memo
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1 Overweight and Obese Child in the Community Background Information The number of overweight and obese children in the community is steadily rising. The scenario is highly observable among families in the urban setting. The health risks associated with being overweight and obese include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea which have catastrophic effects on the children as they developed to be adults (Wong). At a young age, the children would also face bone and joint problems, shortness of breath, breathing problems at night and are a significant risk of liver, heart and gallbladder diseases. To the community, overweight and obese children increase the risk of high prevalence of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. It is imperative to examine the problem and determine the root cause of the problem. Explanation of the problem According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Body Mass Index (BMI) of kids of ages 2 to 19 can be underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. Overweight children have a BMI at the 85th and below 95th percentiles, while obese children have a BMI at or above the 95th percentile (CDC). The CDC notes that within the age group, the prevalence of obesity is 18.5% (1). Narrowing down to the local community, 3 out of every school-going child and teenager can be classified as overweight or obese. The highest number of observed students come from urban settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) also notes that even though overweight and obesity among children is a high income community problem, it is also on the rise in urban settings of middle income countries (3). Historical data also indicates that the prevalence of 2 overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to only over 18% in 2016 (WHO). The data underline the fact that the problem can also be observed, as a trend within the child health spectrum. In our community, the increase in the number of overweight and obese children signals deterioration of health, and a rise in risky health habits. Cause of the Problem One of the leading causes of overweight and obesity is diet and lifestyle. The consumption of fat-filled fast food and processed foods is on the rise, with the community having more fast food joints and delivery options than before. Besides, there is high desirability for junk food among children and adolescents in the community. Güngör and Koyuncuoglu uphold that perceptions such as the fast-food being trendy, modern, and unique make it appealing to the younger population (4). Besides, parents are huge proponents of the rising problem. Most parents do not advocate for healthy eating and participate in helping their children access to junk and processed foods. Lack of exercise and physical activity also substantially contributes to the problem. The local park area is often unused and empty, signaling a drop in physical activity among 7 to 19 years old children. Hebestreit and Bogl note that with the proliferation of video games and other technology products used by the age group, the time for physical activity is limited and often not well emphasized by parents (3). The combination of inadequate exercise and eating habits is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the children. 3 Impacted Population The report focuses on children with the age group of 2 to 19 years old. During this age, most children undergo developmental processes and being overweight and obese undermines the process. Wong acknowledges that parents, community leaders, teachers, public health providers, and health care providers are critical stakeholders in the process of maintain a healthy and fit child population in our community (7). 4 Works Cited Güngör, Neslihan Koyuncuoğlu. “Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents.” Journal of clinical research in pediatric endocrinology vol. 6,3 (2014): 129-43. doi:10.4274/Jcrpe.1471 CDC. "Childhood Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC". Cdc.Gov, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html. WHO. "Childhood Overweight And Obesity". World Health Organization, 2020, https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/. Hebestreit, Antje, and Leonie H Bogl. “Dietary Behavior and Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.” Nutrients vol. 11,8 1849. 9 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11081849 Wong, Sally S. "Community-Based Healthy Living Medicine, With a Focus on K-12, Physical Education, and Nutrition." Progress in cardiovascular diseases 60.3 (2017): 450-455. ...
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Final Answer

The edited report

1
RESEARCH MEMO
TO: Community Stakeholders
FROM:
SUBJECT: Addressing the Issue of Overweight and Obese Children in the Community
March 26, 2020
Background Information
The number of overweight and obese school going children in the community is steadily
rising. The scenario is highly observable among families living in urban communities as well as
among the underserved communities. The health risks associated with being overweight and
obese include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea which have catastrophic
effects on the children as they developed to be adults (Wong). At a young age, the children
would also face bone and joint problems, shortness of breath, breathing problems at night and are
a significant risk of liver, heart and gallbladder diseases. To the community, overweight and
obese children increase the risk of high prevalence of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. It
is imperative to examine the problem and determine the root cause of the problem.
Explanation of the problem
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Body Mass Index
(BMI) of kids of ages 2 to 19 can be underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese.
Overweight children have a BMI at the 85th and below 95th percentiles, while obese children
have a BMI at or above the 95th percentile (CDC). The CDC notes that within the age group, the
prevalence of obesity is 18.5% (1). Narrowing down to the local community, 3 out of every

2
school-going child and teenager can be classified as overweight or obese. The highest number of
observed students come from urban settings closely followed by children from underserved
communities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also notes that even though overweight and
obesity among children is a high income community problem, it is also on the rise in urban
settings of middle income countries (3). Historical data also indicates that the prevalence of
overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from
just 4% in 1975 to only over 18% in 2016 (WHO). The data underline the fact that the problem
can also be observed, as a trend within the child health spectrum. In our community, the increase
in the number of overweight and obese children s...

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