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Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity finds itself a member of a family of diseases that particularly affects children and young adults. The criterion for diagnosis of this disease is the weight being above the standard weight defined for a specific age and height. This disease triggers the onset of many other problems that were previously associated with adults only for instance above normal cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia which can lead to heart attacks at a very young age, elevated blood pressure and diabetes which can be insulin dependent or non-insulin dependent. Moreover extra fat deposition also promotes low self esteem and depression. They are also at a risk of cancer, stroke, osteoarthritis, apnea and cardiovascular disorders.

For a thorough diagnosis it is important for the physician to study the family history along with other tests in order to arrive at a specific conclusion. This has a degree of genetic disposition along with certain stimulations from environmental and lifestyle variants. A more stagnant routine with unhygienic fatty foods promotes the onset of childhood obesity. At present 1 out of 3 children in the United States are diagnosed to be obese.

Recent studies disclose that there is a genetic disposition to childhood obesity. There are two genetic variants or alleles that control the phenotypic expression of over consumption, fat deposition and lethargy. One variant is present in the vicinity of OLFM4 gene based on chromosome 13 while the second variant resides inside HOXB5 gene based on chromosome 7. These findings will help in better pharmacological formulations for designing regimens in the treatment of children.

It is important for the parents to be observant of their child’s physique. A well balanced diet at regular intervals is essential to prevent the onset of this disease. A well balanced reduction of calorie intake should be incorporated in the most preferred recipes. Intake of green leafy vegetables with sufficient iron content should be preferred.

Strengthening of bones, management of a healthy weight, reduction of stress and depression of blood pressure to a standard can be confirmed by physical exercise while a sedentary lifestyle will catalyze more fat and cholesterol deposition.

Despite all the biotechnological and pharmacological innovations, prevention is always better than the cure. Care should be taken to avoid all unhygienic and stagnant factors that might at present or predict complications in the near future. It is the responsibility of the parents to capture and put to task the disease before their child grows into an adult.