Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.

Posted: December 30th, 2022

Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.


Topic 1: Child and Adolescent Health Risks As you discovered in this week’s lectures and readings, several populations face multiple health risks across their lifespan. Children and adolescents are a population that is at a higher health risk for obesity. A national movement is underway to reduce risk factors for developing obesity in children. Part of this movement is the “Let’s Move!” campaign, which is a comprehensive and coordinated initiative to prevent childhood obesity. Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.


The initiative emphasizes four primary components: healthy schools, access to affordable and healthy food, raising children’s physical activity levels, and empowering families to make healthy choices. Review Healthy People 2020: Identify risk factors for childhood obesity. Do the risk factors differ and how do they differ between children and adolescents? Identify objectives that will combat childhood and adolescent obesity. Provide suggestions on how community health nurses can contribute to these national health objectives and accomplish the goal of decreasing obesity among this population. Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.

Childhood and Adolescent Obesity: Risk Factors and Mitigation Measures

Obesity and overweight among children and adolescents is an ever-growing problem that needs to be urgently addressed to stem a public health catastrophe. According to statistics, about 33% of all juveniles aged between 2 and 19 in the United States of America are either overweight or obese. But more worrying is the worrying trend that has been observed and proven by research that juveniles from disadvantaged communities are most affected by overweight and obesity. These are majority Hispanic and African American children and adolescents. Childhood and adolescent obesity is therefore statistically correlated with socio-economic status because of societal inequalities in income and access to healthcare (Baidal et al., 2015; Wolstein et al., 2015). This paper reviews the risk factors to juvenile obesity and the measures that can be taken to mitigate them. Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.

Childhood and Adolescent Obesity Risk Factors

There are several risk factors to juvenile obesity and which are not very different from the risk factors to adult obesity. One of them is genetic composition. It has been shown that polymorphisms in genes can make someone susceptible to developing obesity right from their childhood. However, this occurrence must be moderated by environmental factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise. Another risk factor is a high intake of caloric sweeteners by the children and the adolescents. As stated above, obesity and overweight has been shown to disproportionately affect children and adolescents from low socio-economic backgrounds. Because of the low purchasing power of their parents, these children in the most part can only afford cheap caloric sweetened beverages as their snacks either at home or at school. Prolonged consumption of these beverages then leads to the development of obesity and overweight. Poor diet is the other risk factor. Children and adolescents from poor neighborhoods and communities have no access to regular fruits and vegetables. Obesity Childhood and Adolescents. This is a factor of both lack of purchasing power and lack of sufficient education. Retailers of these important food commodities shun areas with poor populations because they cannot afford these commodities. However, the lack of understanding of the importance of regular fruits and vegetables in the diet is also a contributing factor. Lastly, a sedentary lifestyle is also a major risk factor. Because of rampant insecurity in the poor neighborhoods, many of these children and adolescents cannot freely engage in sporting activities or jogging after school. The result is lack of regular physical exercise and subsequent obesity (Hammer & McPhee, 2018; Huether & McCance, 2017). Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.

These identified risk factors differ to some extent between children and adolescents. Children are most likely to be affected by genetic and dietary risk factors because of their low judgement capacity. A child will consume anything that is sweet. In contrast, adolescents are young adults in the making and have started to understand that some components in their diet may not be good. They are also more likely to engage in sporting activities in school or college (physical activity). Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.

Mitigation Objectives

Some of the objectives that may be useful in mitigating the effects of childhood and adolescent obesity include to stop advertisements of caloric sweetened beverages on television, to carry out sensitization campaigns in schools for a reduction in high calorie school meals, and to engage local, state, and federal policy makers to streamline access to vital services and commodities to all populations.

Community health nurses can therefore help with these objectives by actively participating in school sensitization campaigns. This is because they are the resource persons that will be providing health education to the children and the school authorities. They can also stand for local political office to represent their people and bring the necessary political changes that would reduce the inequalities feeding the growth of obesity and overweight among children and adolescents in poor communities.    Obesity Childhood and Adolescents.

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