Overweight and Obese Child in the Community
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
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
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
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.
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).
Güngör, Neslihan Koyuncuoğlu. “Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents.” Journal
of clinical research in pediatric endocrinology vol. 6,3 (2014): 129-43.
CDC. "Childhood Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC". Cdc.Gov, 2020,
WHO. "Childhood Overweight And Obesity". World Health Organization, 2020,
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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