Tag: Obesity

Does Body Positivity in the Media Promote Obesity?

The chosen topic for discussion in this paper is body positivity and its relation to obesity. Body positivity refers to the idea that all individuals deserve to own a positive body image irrespective of how popular culture and society perceive ideal appearance, size and shape (Cwynar-Horta, 2016, p.398). The body positivity movement has goals that include assisting people in boosting their confidence and acknowledging their own bodies, encouraging the acceptance of all bodies, and combatting how society perceives the body and tackling unrealistic body standards. That said, body positivity is designed to challenge how society views individuals regarding their shape and physical size and promotes the acceptance that judgments are usually based on sexuality, gender, race, and disability. As a result, to comprehensively explore the effect of body positivity on obesity, the paper will look into the research question: does body positivity in the media actually promote obesity?

Read also Obesity from a Medical and Sociological Perspectives

            Various literature review pieces assert that one of the primary reasons for body positivity is to tackle some of the ways body image determines wellbeing and mental health. According to Cannaday (2019, 23), having a healthy body appearance serves a crucial role in influencing how individuals feel about their appearance and how they judge their self-worthiness. Cohen, Newton-John, and Slater (2020, 45) add that having a negative body image is connected with a rise in the danger of mental conditions such as eating disorders and depression.  Cohen, Newton-John, and Slater (2020, 30) found that even slight exposure to media contents showing an ideal physique was associated with increased body image concerns and a rise in eating disorder symptoms.

Read also Consequences of Obesity on the Health of Individuals

            According to Cannaday (2019, 33), body image is defined as an individual’s subjective perception regarding their own body, which may differ from their appearance. Behaviors, feelings, and thoughts linked to body image can significantly affect one’s mental health and how you treat yourself. A study by Cohen, Newton-John, and Slater (2020,37) found that body positivity movement contributes to the cases of obesity because normalization of plus size endangers hidden risks of obesity. Therefore, body positivity is sloppy science, sloppy journalism and sloppy peer review. This literature has informed me about body positivity as I have learned that people across the world, more so women been subjected to immense pressure over their bodies. For this reason, these advocates for a kinder perception have been embraced. But with increased popularity, there has emerged a barrage of criticism of body positivity, most notably for the normalization of obesity.

Read also Obesity – Annotated Bibliography

            The body positivity movement peddles the assertion that body elements that vary from the ones we think we possess lead to body dissatisfaction. We start to develop certain feelings concerning our body from the surrounding culture, life experiences, teasing, beliefs and the immediate people to us and the personality regarding how our body should look like. Consequentially, these behaviors perpetuate or even worsen the existence of such feelings and perceptions.

Read also An Evaluation of Issues Related to Childhood Obesity

Body image significantly affects the mental health of the target people. Having concerns related to body image is imperatively a shared experience. While it is not a mental health issue, it can be a risk factor for mental health challenges. According to research, higher body dissatisfaction is connected to a poorer quality of life, the risk of unhealthy eating traits, eating disorders and psychological distress (Cannaday, 2019,38). On the contrary, body appreciation and satisfaction have been connected to fewer harmful dieting traits and overall wellbeing. While the feelings of unsatisfied with our body appearance is a common problem among young women, body image issues happen from childhood all through their later life and severely affect both men and women. a positive body image contributes to promoting psychological adjustments such as less depression, positive self-worth, fewer eating disorders, life satisfaction, and less interpersonal anxiety. Distortions in individual thinking lead to a negative body image.

Obesity from a Medical and Sociological Perspectives

Obesity is a leading health issue and the second leading cause of mortality in the United States with an estimated 300,000 deaths per year. The condition is considered to be a major risk because of its etiological connection with other secondary illnesses such as coronary artery disease, certain types of cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Common in industrialized countries, obesity is also a significant contributor to the rising medical costs in the healthcare sector, especially in the U.S. where obesity rates are said to be highest (Ogden, Carroll, Fryar & Flegal, 2015). Two out three American men are obese. Incidence rates are even higher in women. An obese American spends an average of $1430 more in medical expenses on a yearly basis. This amounts to $147 billion of added costs in U.S. healthcare annually when overweight statistics are taken into account. Overall, 35.5% of American adults are obese while an additional 32.5 percent are overweight, meaning that more than two thirds of the entire between the age of 2 to 19 years who are considered obese (Skinner, Perrin, & Skelton, 2016). The significance of obesity as a major health issue is justified by the high mortality rate and health care costs which currently surpass those associated with smoking.

Read also Consequences of Obesity on the Health of Individuals

            In medical terms, obesity is characterized as a condition associated with excess body fat, described by either genetic or environmental factors that are difficult to control in the dieting process. This medical identifying characteristic of obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and energy consumption within the body of the patient. Excess energy intake or low energy consumption usually leads to large storage of energy in the form of triacylglycerol in adipose tissue which stores energy when a person ingests excess calories and converts triacylglycerol reservoirs back into usable energy. A minor imbalance of as little as 10 surplus calories per day is enough for continued weight gain of up to one pound per year. Consequently, dietary patterns are a critical factor in the development of obesity. Medical specialists diagnose obesity using the Body Mass Index (BMI) system of measurement. People with a BMI of 30 or higher are classified as obese (Ogden, Carroll, Fryar & Flegal, 2015). Since obesity interferes with normal function of various body organs, such as the circulatory system, it increases one’s risk of developing a range of illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, and sleep apnea, among others.

Read also Obesity Critical Analysis

Many causes are directly or indirectly attributed to obesity. However, behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors are the major contributors according to the Centers for Disease Control. With regard to behavior, modern lifestyles have adopted unhealthy dieting habits, minimal physical activity, and little effort dedicated to maintain health. Studies have shown that the average American consumes more calories than they did in the past decade, leading to intake of more nutrients than needed for normal body function. Food portions have also increased in size both at home and in restaurants. At the same time, the amount of physical activity has reduced due to influence of computers, television, and other technologies that discourage people to engage in physical activity. The environment also plays a significant role in shaping lifestyle habits that promote the disease. For example, a sedentary lifestyle with more instances of driving than walking and a higher availability of convenience foods rather than nutrition has been a key reason for the dev elopement of obesity youth and adults. Genetic variations have also been associated with increased risks of obesity where certain genes cause disorders that result in obesity. Research on the role of genetics in obesity is still underway.

Read also An Evaluation of Issues Related to Childhood Obesity

When viewed via a symbolist interactionist sociological lens, obesity is a mere social construction. In other words, the mental and physical conditions that define the illnesses have little or no objective reality and are only considered unhealthy because they have been defined so by the society. While a sociologist may admit that there has been an increase in average body weight in the American population, they may also point out that the society is biased when it comes to categorization of healthy and unhealthy weight (Altman, Van Hook, & Hillemeier, 2016). Indeed, one can conclude that the term obesity was constructed by the medical community and the use of BMI as a major defining factor for incidence has resulted in exaggeration of the number of people suffering from the condition. BMI is not a precisely accurate method of measuring obesity. Besides, scholars have drawn attention to competing meanings of body fat. The society’s construction of fatness has been followed by the claim that fat is unhealthy and ugly (Hutson, 2017). The society has also declared that the body is an image of the psyche and moral fiber. Altogether, these social constructions have advanced the obesity epidemic beyond reasonable levels.

Read also Type 2 Diabetes and Childhood Obesity

According to the symbolic interactionist approach, the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients warrants attention. Whether consciously or not, physicians are tasked with the responsibility of “managing the situation” by displaying medical knowledge and authority.  The physician is identified by their lab coat, title name, and ‘availability’ while the patient is simply referred by their first name and is subject to the physician’s availability. Additionally, physicians use complicated medical terms to describe medical illnesses instead of simple terms such as those used by laypeople. The symbolic interactionist approach has had a significance influence in the United States in the recent years, prompting the healthcare sector to plan on redefining the term obesity (Hutson, 2017). The condition has been widely recognized as a health risk, but a group of people identifying as “fat pride” or “fat acceptance” activists have claimed that the current medical viewpoint of obesity as a health risk is highly exaggerated and, consequently, has become some form of justification for discriminating overweight people. On the other hand, the health care community has accepted the unfortunate nature of such discrimination but with the remarks that such activism is has gone beyond its limits in attempting to minimize obesity risks.

Read also Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Obesity

In conclusion, there is a huge disparity between the medical and sociological viewpoints of obesity. The medical viewpoint supposes that anyone with a BMI of over 30 is overweight while the sociological viewpoint claims that this is just a social construction of what is considered unhealthy. Both perspectives have a certain level of validity. However, there is a need to balance the ultimate construct of obesity in evidence based terms to harmonize medical and sociological views.

Consequences of Obesity on the Health of Individuals

Obesity is a major public health threat in developing and developed countries as evidenced by statistics that show that over 300 million people suffer from obesity all over the world, this is approximately the population of ten medium-sized countries. Moreover, 1.7 billion other people around the globe are exposed to risk factors that predispose them to being overweight and of these, 1.1 million are already overweight and 300 million are obese as stated earlier (Lener & Lerner, 2006). The incidence of obesity has tripled in the last 20 years in developing countries and increased by 75% since 1980. Furthermore, it is estimated that an increase in BMI is responsible for over 2 million deaths every year and this number is expected to double by the year 2030.

Read also Obesity Critical Analysis

Obesity is a chronic disease that occurs from an interplay of genetic and environmental factors whose aetiology has not been fully understood. But from a biological point of view, it is posited to occur due to the presence of more fat, in the body, than is required to sustain bodily functions. This excess fat is stored in the body depending on its necessity for body functions. Essential fat, which is necessary in order to sustain life is stored in the breasts and hips for women, the bone marrow, lung, heart, liver and spleen muscles. Excess dietary fat that is not essential for body functions is stored in the subcutaneous tissue, and it is this fat that constitutes the major determinant for obesity. In a healthy young adult, storage fat should constitute 15-25% of the total body weight with specific reference ranges in terms of gender being 15-20% for males and 20-25% for women.

Read also Obesity – Annotated Bibliography

Obesity occurs in various forms depending on the area where fat has accumulated in the body, with Android type obesity being characterized by significant fat accumulation in the region of the upper torso and abdomen and being prevalent within the male demographic while regional obesity is characterized by fat accumulation in the thighs and hips and is more prevalent among women. This classification is important since it determines the severity of the associated health risks with central/android type obesity beings associated with greater risk for developing hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus (II) and suffering from sudden death (Lanas & Fernado, 2016). The severity of obesity can be measured through a variety of mechanisms but the most common methods utilize; the calculations obtained from the division of body weight with the second power of height (BMI) to measure fat accumulation and skin fold measurements (waist circumference, waist to hip ratio) to measure fat distribution.

Read also An Evaluation of Issues Related to Childhood Obesity

The development of obesity has been linked to several negative implications in terms of health and the quality of life that individuals who suffer from it can expect to achieve. In this section, this paper will focus on the consequences of obesity on the health of individuals. Obesity is positively associated with the incidence of type II diabetes mellitus with studies showing that 75-80% of people who suffer from this type of diabetes are obese. The increased risk of developing diabetes from obesity has a direct correlation with increasing BMI and decreased metabolic control. Obesity is also linked to the development of coronary heart disease due to the prevailing clinical and biochemical disorders associated with the development of obesity such as hypertension and dyslipidemia and the influence of these disorders on the development of coronary heart disease. Moreover, the accumulation of fat in the cardiac cavities, which is typical in obese individuals, leads to an increase in the rate of heart work and demand for myocardial adaptation in to this increased demand that results in cardiac hypertrophy due to fatigue and eventually, results in heart failure (Behn & Ur, 2006). Additionally, there appears to be a positive association between early-onset obesity and incidence of cardiovascular disease with individuals who develop obesity at an early age being more likely to suffer the coronary complications associated with obesity than those who develop it later in life. Moreover, individuals with android type obesity also have an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease than individuals with regional obesity.

Read also Type 2 Diabetes and Childhood Obesity

Obesity has also been found to lead to the development of hypertension and atherosclerosis. The accumulation of fat in the arterial walls that occurs with the progression in weight gain leads to the development of atheromatous plaques in the walls of the arteries which harden and narrow these arteries and limit the flow of oxygen to the tissues and this can lead to the occurrence of ischemic stroke, heart attack and even death. The risk for hypertension is exemplified by the supposition that a 10% increase in body weight leads to an increase in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure by 6mmHg and 4mmHg respectively and a 1% reduction in body weight leads to a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 1mmHg and 2mmHg respectively. This increase is further exacerbated in individuals who have a genetic predisposition to developing hypertension and individuals who develop obesity as they progress in age.

Read also Fast Foods and Obesity Research Paper

Obesity has also been found to have a positive correlation with the occurrence of the metabolic syndrome in individuals with most obese individuals having a metabolic profile that shows an increased level of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and a reduced level of High-density lipoproteins (HDL). These factors are associated with the effects of the metabolic syndrome that lead to increased insulin resistance (in type II diabetes) leading to hyperglycemia,  reduction in the activity of muscle lipoprotein lipase leading to insufficient breakdown of triglycerides in diet and a reduction in the effectiveness of LDL receptor which leads to insufficient lipoprotein metabolism (Guo & Garvey, 2016). Moreover, obesity is also positively associated with the occurrence of endocrine disorders that lead to the occurrence of hormone-related cancers and other hormone-related disorders. For instance, obese women experience constant amenorrhea and are expected to experience menarche at an earlier age than women with normal body weight while obese men experience reduced levels of testosterone and increased levels of plasma cortisol which leads to reduced glucocorticoid levels. Obese men and women are also at risk of the mortality that results from prostate and colon cancer (males) and endometrium, cervical and breast cancer.

Read also Morbid Obesity Research Paper

Obese individuals also have to battle with the ever frequent inconvenience that occurs from the obesity hypoventilation syndrome which leads to debilitating breathing dysfunction due to hypoventilation of lung cells especially at night (sleep apnea). This dysfunction mostly affects these individuals during the REM phase of sleep when the upper respiratory tract is likely to get blocked and it necessitates having to wake up multiple times during the night to breathe properly. This can lead to chronic insomnia and the day sleepiness often observed in obese individuals. Despite this inconvenience, breathing dysfunctions can result in cardiac arrhythmia and heart failure which could lead to death.

Read also Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Obesity

The advantages of being an obese individual have not been well documented due to the incredible health risks having this disease poses and the irresponsibility that would occur from encouraging people to become obese through these kinds of research-based incentives. However, a few studies have attempted to turn existing norms about obesity on their head and show the pros of obesity. Such research posits that obesity alleviates the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis due to the lowered levels of adiponectin associated with increased BMI whose inflammatory action on arthritis is thus reduced. Moreover, further research has gone ahead to show that obesity contributes to a more regulated immune system that does not overcompensate and cause collateral damage within the body due to the omentum around body organs whose cells interact directly with the cells of the immune system and regulate their responses. Additionally, mesenchymal stem cells present in the abdominal fat of obese individuals, repair tissue almost immediately after damage occurs and the fat itself acts as a shock absorber and protects individuals from mechanical injury. More research has also found that obese individuals are 25% less likely to develop dementia than individuals with normal weight levels. Although it stands to reason that these facts may not be very helpful to obese individuals since very few obese individuals make it to the age of onset of dementia in the first place (Quizilbash et al 2012).

Read also Obesity in the Adult Population and the Professional Nurse’s Role

From this discussion, it can be posited that the cons of obesity far outweigh its advantages and individuals who suffer from this disease should incorporate weight management strategies to their daily routines in order to enjoy the benefits that result from healthy body weight.

Obesity Critical Analysis

Introduction and Analysis

Obesity is one of the most complex diseases currently afflicting modern society. It is ranked high among typical medical problems that affect a large segment of the population and a source of growing concern for many health practitioners. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 652 million adults aged 18 years and over are obese with the number projected to double within the next two decades (“Obesity,” 2018). These worrying statistics paint a picture of a disease that is clearly on a steady rise and difficult to avoid. However, the consensus among epidemiologists is that obesity is caused by a combination of predisposing factors that make individuals prone to developing the condition.

Read also Obesity – Annotated Bibliography

Family inheritance, lifestyle choices, certain medication, and age have all been cited as predictors in the development of obesity in individuals across the board. Being overweight often means that individuals harbor an abnormal accretion of fat that places their body mass index (BMI) above 30.  As a result, obese individuals are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular complications, chronic ailments, cancer and diabetes in comparison to healthy counterparts.  Furthermore, the quality of life also diminishes as they grapple with social isolation, depression, low work achievement, and social isolation.

Read also An Evaluation of Issues Related to Childhood Obesity

A Review of Common Attempts to Address Obesity

Physical Activity

 Typically, high calorific intakes combined with a sedentary lifestyle are common predictors of obesity. Although a variable factor, the limited burning of these excess calories results in an accumulation of fat that causes obesity.  One common attempt to address obesity is the inclusion of physical activity as a daily regimen to aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine also indicates that physical activity reduces stress, lowers risks of osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer in morbidly obese individuals (Bouchard, 2013, p. 54). Even so, few have demonstrated the willingness to engage in physical activity. For instance, wealthy countries such as the United States (U.S) and Saudi Arabia have recently recorded an increase in sedentary lifestyles with limited amount of physical activity. Authorities in the subject such as the U.S Department of Health and Human Services suggest that such individuals should always ensure that they engage in vigorous physical activity each week.  One of the most important points to acknowledge is that physical activity entails engaging in routine exercise, daily commutes, chores, and play. These repetitive activities can vary in intensity but with the primary aim of burning calories and preventing excessive weight gain. An increase in energy expenditure results in an overall equilibrium in the body which also enables any excess weight that had been gained to be burnt.  Moreover, it reduces abdominal obesity by strengthening the muscles which eventually makes controlling the weight an easy task. Researchers recommend an hour of physical activity a day as an essential routine that helps in maintaining a healthy weight and managing obesity.

Food Labeling

The recent increase and convenience of fast foods has widely been blamed for the increase in obesity levels witnessed across the globe. Foods offered in a majority of franchise food outlets such as Kentucky Fry Chicken (KFC), Dominos and McDonalds have high-fat content with many consumers remaining unaware of this fact. One of the techniques designed to curb the ever-increasing weight problem is public education about the calorific and nutritional content of the foods consumed. The idea behind this campaign stems from a need to arm the public with critical knowledge when purchasing foods which allows them to make informed choices. Food labeling was first embraced in the United States (U.S) when Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) in 1990 (Keller, 2012, p. 234).

Read also Fast Foods and Obesity Research Paper

Through the U.S Federal and Drug Administration (FDA) manufacturers were expected to list the nutritional content of their products. Apart from the front-label packaging of foods in restaurants, those sold in vending machines and stores are also required to adhere to these guidelines to inform the calorific content to make sure that buyers are always aware of these details. In a recent study conducted by the FDA, food labeling was hailed for transforming consumer behavior and making informed choices.  It is also through this information on the nutrition label that consumers have, time and again, changed their minds about purchasing a particular fat food. The immediate result is low consumption of goods with saturated fat and a subsequent drive towards foods with high nutritional value.

Eliminating Trans-Fats

 Abolishing industrially-manufactured trans-fats is one of the most effective initiatives in the fight against obesity. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists trans-fats among substances that are very likely to cause harm to the human body and a major source of obesity. The global food supply often utilizes these hardened vegetable fats since they are economical and readily available. For instance, ghee and margarine are commonly used in the food industry in the production of snacks and dried foods to the detriment of the consumers. Unscrupulous business owners have also been known to use them for an extended period well beyond their shelf life to avoid extra costs. Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) penned a six-point strategic plan urging governments to clamp down on the use of trans-fats in the food industry (“WHO welcomes industry action to align with global trans-fat elimination targets,” 2019). The main motivation behind his campaign is the sudden increase in cardiovascular disease among individuals who are considered as being overweight and struggling with the damaging effects of obesity. This has prompted campaigns aimed at the sustainable elimination of trans-fats by policymakers by enforcing a plethora of compliance regulations and policies aimed at reducing the levels of individuals with obesity. Denmark and New York City serve as the best examples of jurisdictions committed to fighting obesity by passing legislation banning the use of industrially manufactured trans-fats in restaurants.

Novel Approach

Increased Taxation of Beverages with High Calories

 An increase in the consumption of high-calorie beverages is partly responsible for the global obesity epidemic affecting society. Sweetened soft drinks and juices are now a common feature in elementary school diets which significantly increases their likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. They are associated with insulin resistance and abdominal obesity which results from an increase in lipoprotein cholesterol levels an important fact to note is that these beverages offer no dietetic value to the consumer but only increase the calories consumed in one sitting. As a novel approach, legislators and policymakers in the United States have proposed increased taxation on these beverages as a solution to the obesity epidemic.

Read also Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Obesity

In particular, vending machines often found in schools provide students with a unique opportunity to purchase these high-calorie beverages while being unaware of its effects on their health. Increasing taxation for non-diet sodas and flavored drinks would, consequently, drive consumers towards healthier beverages with a lower cost thus reducing obesity. The State of New York has always been at the forefront of the fight against obesity. In 2008, Governor Peterson tabled a bold proposal of an 18% increase in sales tax for any high-calorie beverage sold within the state (“Obesity Epidemic: Challenges, Health Initiatives, and Implications for Gastroenterologists,” 2010). Although his proposal was not well received by individuals with vested interests in the food industry, such drastic measures are needed if the scourge of obesity is to be managed.


 The adverse consequences of being overweight and obese are now highly publicized. As a consequence, medical experts, researchers and policymakers alike have proposed common attempts to address this problem. Physical activity, food labeling and elimination of industrially-manufactured trans-fats are the most typical approaches that have been implemented in recent years. Correspondingly, increased taxation of beverages with a high calorific value is now being considered as a novel approach in managing obesity amongst adolescents and adults alike.

Obesity – Annotated Bibliography

Kessler, D. A. (2016). The end of overeating: Taking control of the insatiable American appetite. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Dr Kessler is still remembered by many for the central role he played as an FDA commissioner and policymaker. A medical doctor by profession, he seeks to explain the intricacies of obesity and how thousands find themselves in this abyss. Using his wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of the food industry, Dr Kessler provides his readers with an expose that seeks to uncover tactics used to ensure consumers are always hooked on junk foods. He even goes as far as comparing fat, sugar and salt to other addictive substances such as nicotine, ultimately concluding that they are similar in their potential harm. Nonetheless, the only qualm I have with this book is the author’s sudden manoeuvre halfway through his assessment where he now starts providing proposed weight-loss solutions to his readers. The book is comprehensible to any lay person and functions as an appropriate guide to taking control of one’s appetite and avoiding obesity.

Petersen, G., & Sim, A. (2014). Eat bacon, don’t jog.

A common challenge faced by a majority of obese individuals seeking to lose weight is in choosing the best physical activity to incorporate into their lives. Membership at a local gym does not always work for everyone which is why Petersen suggests bike riding as a viable solution. As an expert in manufacturing custom bikes, Petersen is an authority on the subject since he cycles on a regular basis to keep his weight in check. What is interesting about the book is the fact that the author does not drift away from scientific arguments and makes his case using the widely acclaimed “carbs are bad” paradigm. Moreover, each page is full of humorous presentations that are readable while providing recommendations on the best strategy to employ when biking to lose weight.

Simpson, S. J., & Raubenheimer, D. (2012). The nature of nutrition: A unifying framework from animal adaptation to human obesity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

It is a widely known fact that a large number of those afflicted by obesity would like to gain a deeper understanding of this particular phenomenon. Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer seek to help the average person understand this but through a unique approach. As experts in Nutritional Ecology, these two scientists use monkeys and slime moulds in a bid to explain the intake of nutrients and control. It is remarkable how the authors use a combination of statistical methods and graphs to explain how creatures strike a healthy balance when consuming protein and energy giving foods. It is somewhat fascinating how this same reasoning is used to explain why obesity is currently commonplace. A scientific understanding of the issue is one of the best approaches to making better nutritional choices.

Taubes, G. (2008). Good calories, bad calories: Fats, carbs, and the controversial science of diet and health. New York: Anchor Books.

Managing or avoiding obesity often begins with having a deeper understanding of its causative agents and how to subsequently avoid them. Taubes has made this his life’s work, giving an accurate and succinct explanation of specific foods that cause obesity and how to avoid them.  A typical problem faced by morbidly obese persons is their inability to comprehend foods which are directly responsible for their condition fully. Dietary fat is mentioned as one of the primary culprits responsible for weight gain and ultimately leading to obesity. Tubes do a thorough job at providing a well-researched evaluation of the subjects, which is beneficial, especially in convincing his readers to choose their foods wisely. In finality, he sounds a warning by concluding that carbohydrates do indeed cause cancer and should be avoided at all cost.

Wansink, B. (2006). Mindless eating: Why we eat more than we think. New York: Bantam Books.

Dr Wansink is a seasoned researcher who has spent decades trying to understand obesity and the reasons behind its permeation. In this particular book, he delves into the mindless eating to explain how manufacturers can play a huge role in managing obesity. He introduces what he calls “portion control” as a feasible technique to curb overeating and therefore manage obesity across populations. His findings are enumerated using experiments carried out in colleges to assess eating habits using playful tricks. Dr Wansink finally concludes that the size of the plate or bag were key in guiding individuals into overeating, a scenario that could be reversed by manufacturers. It was intriguing to become aware of this fact since weight loss plans for obese people can now be formulated using the “portion control” with remarkable results.

An Evaluation of Issues Related to Childhood Obesity


The 21st century has been punctuated by sudden spikes in epidemiological transitions that have, more often than not, been the bane of human existence. Concomitantly, obesity is presently progressing in prevalence with a wide range of causative factors being blamed for this particular state of affairs. Even more shocking, is the rise in cases of childhood obesity which had hitherto been virtually unheard of in modern societies. General practitioners have time and again underscored the seriousness of this public health challenge that is now a becoming a common feature of many low and middle income nations around the globe.

Read also Type 2 Diabetes and Childhood Obesity

It is estimated that roughly 43 million children under the age of six harbor excess body fat with their body mass index (BMI) determining their morbid obesity (“4.5 Childhood obesity going up,” n.d., p. 78). Health pundits have often made it their life’s work to put this particular issue into perspective, especially when most health agencies are openly nonchalant when dealing with this debacle or offering viable solutions. Children residing in urban settings are more likely to exhibit morphological compositions that are characteristic of childhood obesity, an indication of a deep seated problem. It is for this reason that this research paper seeks to analyze issues related to childhood obesity with a primary focus on its causes, effects on health and possible intervention options that may aid in managing the condition.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

  • Consumption of fast foods: In recent years, parents and children alike have adopted bad eating habits that have been blamed for the steady rise in obesity amongst children. Consumption of junk foods and fast foods has now become the norm with many paying little or no attention to the cumulative effects that would result from their dietary choice. The spread of fast food chains such as a Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Hardees’s and KFC, families in urban settings now make up a regular clientele. This phenomenon has been blamed on busy work schedules that leave parents with limited time to prepare meals for their families. Moreover, these foods are inexpensive and the reason why teenagers are more likely to consume them on a regular basis. Nonetheless, it is vital to acknowledge that these foods are only rich in fats and carbohydrates with high calories while devoid of any nutritional value.

Read also Childhood Obesity – Review Of The Literature

  • Limited physical activity: Lack of physical activity in children is now becoming a cause for concern for many general practitioners since it has been directly linked to childhood obesity. Children are spending less time outdoors, preferring instead to remain indoors leading a sedentary life in front of modern conveniences such as television and gaming consoles. The immediate result of this lifestyle is an extension of their adipose tissue, an indication of extra pounds added (“4.5 Childhood obesity going up,”). Additionally, the addictive nature of these video games and television programs usually means that they would spend a large chunk of their time staring at their screens as opposed to engaging in activities that are physically tasking. Similarly, they are more likely to be exposed to commercials promoting junk foods which may subsequently influence them to increase their consumption of sweetened beverages, sweets and other salty snacks.
  • Genetic Factors: Ground-breaking research into factors promoting childhood obesity has recently revealed that genetics also play part in increasing susceptibility. Coupled with behavioral and environmental factors, children with obese parents are likely to follow a similar route albeit sooner rather than expected. This is because the genetic make-up of such individuals consists of genes that are associated with a lower basal metabolic rate. The expenditure of energy while in sedentary state is therefore quite low which becomes a contributing factor in as far as weight gain is concerned.

Read also HA535 – Childhood Obesity in America – PowerPoint Presentation

  • Socio-economic factors: The fiscal environment that a child or family find themselves in has also been a contributing factor in childhood obesity. The common culprits blamed for this eventuality are parents from middle-class families since they are usually in a position to provide their children with such luxuries. A common trend that is typical in such households is that of children snacking between meals. It is this purchasing power that ultimately ends up impacting the children negatively, especially if the parents do no set rules and regulations poised at limiting such habits. Children from middle-class families that are fairly well-off therefore are at a higher risk of becoming obese in comparison to their counterparts from poor households.

Effects on Health

  • The development of type 2 diabetes: One of the most surprising developments in health care in the past four decades has been the permeation of diabetes among children. Nevertheless, an analysis of nearly all these cases have one common denominator; obesity. It did not take scientist long before concluding that obesity in children also led to development of diabetes. More specifically, the said individuals would develop Type 2 diabetes, making it next to impossible for the body to effectively metabolize glucose (Ahima, 2014). Consequences of developing this condition are that sufferers may end up developing various forms of eye infections or kidney failure.

Read also Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Obesity

  • Cardiovascular diseases: As mentioned earlier, children who become obese are more likely to adopt an unhealthy lifestyle lacking any form of physical activity. They adopt such an approach, even when constantly ingesting foods that have been prepared using unsaturated fats. As a result, cholesterol levels shoot up to an alarming level, clogging the blood vessels thus making the pumping of blood an uphill task. In addition to this, the blood pressure also shoots up, leading to hypertension and increasing the risk of developing heart disease (Bagchi, 2015, p. 90). Obese children are therefore at a very high risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack due to a cholesterol level which is abnormally high.
  • An increase in asthma afflictions: As co-morbidity, asthma has often been directly linked to obesity. The main reason why this is the case has to do with the chronic inflammation of the subject’s lungs which becomes a predisposing factor, especially if the persons in question are obese children. Breathing ends up becoming a major challenge for such individuals who may later on suffer from increased bouts of breathlessness. Researchers are categorical in stating that there is a direct correlation between developing severe asthma and childhood obesity. It is for this reason that they caution parents against allowing this condition to deteriorate often due to the residual effects that it may have in future.

Read also Obesity in America – Research Paper

  • Sleeping disorders and joint pains: Obesity in children takes a toll on their weak and nascent bodies since they are largely unprepared to handle the body weight that they are forced to contend with. It is for this very reason that such may have difficulty sleeping often as a result of a myriad of disorders. Snoring now becomes an issue of great concern with others developing disorders that are more severe such as sleep apnea. Their usually regimen is now disturbed by the extra weight forming around the neck area and being responsible for the blockage of airways. Moreover, the frail bones of such individuals struggle to support their body weight resulting in severe joint pain.

Possible Management Approaches

  • Transforming eating habits: The main contributing factor promoting obesity in children are the eating habits that they have been accustomed to all their life. A large majority of obese children are in their present predicament due to the unhealthy lifestyle choices practiced within their family units. In other scenarios, it is the parents who influence the children to indulge in such practices that ultimately end up affecting them negatively. Since children are under their care, parents should take the first step in changing these destructive eating habits and introducing changes for posterity. This can be done by either limiting or having a total ban on junk foods at home and during family outings. It is this same consciousness that will allow the parents to invest in vegetables, fresh fruits and, lean proteins, non-fat milk and whole grains.
  • Increasing physical activity: The introduction of physical activity is one of the surest ways of ensuring that a child sheds excess weight. Regular work-outs for children at this particular stage in life may seem less interesting and in extreme cases even loathed. An alternative in such a case would be to make the physical activity more fun by encouraging the child to join a sport of their liking. For instance, an overweight child may take an interest in football and lose a considerable amount of weight while in the process of engaging in the sport. An increase in family activities may also be a step in the right direction. Incorporating activities such as swimming and hiking into the family routine is not only a superb chance to bond but an opportunity for all members to become active. Parents are also obligated to limit the time that their children spend before screens and switching this with a timetable that ensures that they lead a healthy lifestyle. They are now able to lead a life that is more balanced in all aspects.
  • The use of medications and even surgery: It is vital to note that there are certain instances during which drastic measures may be required to aid such a child shed weight. The use of a wide range of medication and surgery, when necessary, are effective methods that can be used to keep a child’s weight in check. Prescription medication such Xenical is effective in aiding children shed excess weight with no side effects on the individuals (“Global Childhood Obesity Update,” 2011, p. 337). Consulting a physician is, however, an important step since they are better placed when it comes to recommending the correct medication and its dosage. Extreme cases call for drastic measures to help a child lose excess weight. This is often when other methods have borne no fruit. Surgery is an effective method that has aided many in their weight loss journey.


Childhood obesity is a modern day health challenge that has been steadily rising. The consumption of fast foods, limited physical activity, genetic and socio-economic factors are the most common reason why this is the case. This condition has been blamed for an increase in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, sleeping disorders, asthma and joint pains among children. Though tasking, this condition can be managed by transforming eating habits, increasing physical activities, the use of medications and surgery which would enable children lead lives that are more fulfilling.

Type 2 Diabetes and Childhood Obesity

This paper elaborates in detail the significance of health promotion and maintenance of desirable health by embracing healthy lifestyles so as to avert the occurrence of both childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes. In the past, reported diabetes cases among children were that of immune mediated type 1a. However, with increasing cases of childhood obesity there has been a dramatic increase in Type 2diabeties among the children. Obesity is associated with resistances to insulin; Type 2 diabetes is developed when the condition is coupled with insulin deficiencies in the body. Children who develop this type of diabetes have higher chances of experiencing micro vascular as well as macro vascular complications of the ailment during young ages compared to individuals who become affected by the condition in adulthood (Wilmot & Idris, 2014).

Read also Diabetes Among Citizens In Los Angles – Community Health Assessment

These complications include atherosclerotic cardiovascular illnesses, myocardial infarction, stroke, renal inefficiency and failures, retinopathy that can lead to blindness, neuropathy and even sudden death in chronic cases. Since both cases, Type two diabetes and childhood obesity have raised a lot of concern in the recent past, healthcare professionals are advised to take more measures in reducing the impacts of the diseases. This can be done by researching on the root cause of both diseases and mitigating further incidences.

Importance of health promotion

Increasing rates of both childhood obesity and Type Diabetes among children have detrimental effects and substantial long term repercussions to the affected persons, the society and the public health system at large. It is therefore necessary that all health care providers reduce the effects at the early age, prevent and control further occurrences. Since Type 2 diabetes can be avoided by practicing good health measures, healthy habits and lifestyles have to be instilled in populations at high risk of developing the conditions (Segel, 2011). In the event that measures meant for stopping the rise of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes are ignored, more harm will be seen in both the children and the society. Early onset of Type 2 Diabetes automatically leads to early development of chronic complications like renal failures, neuropathy or even blindness due to retinopathy, which affects the physical wellness of the children. Tagging to that, the economic, psychological and social impacts of these conditions are too significant.

Read also Childhood Obesity – Review Of The Literature

Patient population

For the past thirty years, the number of children diagnosed with obesity has kept on increasing at a very high rate. It is documented that 22.6% of children between the age of 2 to 5, and 31% between the ages of 6 to 19 years have higher risks of being overweight in United States of America. The other fact is that the condition disproportionately affects children who descend from minority groups. The occurrence of obesity among non-Hispanic white children was 8.6%, 8.8% for non-Hispanic black children, and 13.1% for the case of Mexican American children. The children suffering from obesity have higher chances of becoming obese adults as well if the recommended health measures are not taken seriously. They are also likely to develop serious medical, psychological, and social problems all through their life span (Koukourikos et al, 2013). The growing prevalence of childhood obesity corresponds to the rise of Type of diabetes among the children. In the pediatric population, Type 2 diabetes accounts for a significant fraction of number of newly diagnosed diabetes. The figure rises to a high of 50% incidences in some clinics. Children at puberty stage have higher chances of developing Type diabetes even though they are not obese. This is because of the fact that puberty is closely related to the enhanced secretion of growth hormones by the body, a factor that promotes the body’s ability to develop insulin resistance. Therefore, when this factor is coupled with genetic and environmental factors, the individual has higher chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Proposed solution

Health care professionals and care givers including parents and guardians should assume the active role of identifying cases of obesity, reduced glucose tolerance and diabetes in children. This can be done through various ways. The first one is through identification of environmental and genetic risk factors like gestational diabetes, maternal obesity and lack of physical activities by the populations at risks at an early age. This will help in reducing the impacts caused by the risk factors and avert the development of chronic conditions. Counseling programs should also be provided in all learning institutions that promote the importance of weight loss through modifications of lifestyles (Hurtado-lopez & Marcias-Rosales, 2013). The other solution is screening of persons at risks of getting Type 2 Diabetes, this is because the disease is asymptomatic and signs might show up at later stages upon development of chronic complications. It is, therefore, essential to monitor the risk factors and use screening methods to identify the presence of the condition among the population at risk.

Read also Evidence Based Practice Project – Interventions for Type 1 Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) endorses screening for diabetes among children who have a BMI of 85th percentile for age and gender, alongside two risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes. Screening is more important because it helps in early detection of the disease and early treatment and management provided to those affected (Ortega-Cortes, 2013). It is evident that diabetes related complications begin even before the onset of its signs and symptoms. Aggressive treatment on the other hand slows the occurrence of complications, therefore early identification and treatment of children with Type 2 Diabetes presents the promise of prevention of occurrences of serious complications.


One of the goals is to reduce the occurrences of childhood obesity among the populations. This will not only promote better and healthy lifestyles but also reduce the occurrences and spread of Type 2 diabetes. All government entities and communities should ensure that children are encouraged to choose healthy lifestyle choices. Teachers should take the roles of eliminating junk foodstuffs like candy and sodas in school cafeterias and mandate regular physical activities. Governments should ensure that policies are formulated that protect the right of children to access good healthy foods whether in their homes or school environment, should also ensure that all schools provide the recommended environments for children to play and exercise (Farsani et al, 2013). This goal will be measured using the BMI method, the BMI should be plotted annually on the BMI growth charts. This can be done by the providers of healthcare in all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), and determine if the level of childhood obesity is increasing or decreasing.

Read also Health People 2020 Diabetes Objective

The other goal is ensuring that Type 2 diabetes in children is prevented by all means. The disease can be prevented or delayed from occurring for many years. With thorough investigation, identification, treatment and management of the condition, it can be prevented from occurring at an early age. It is paramount to note that even small changes can make big differences in a person’s body, which can lead to prevention of the disease. This includes daily eating of healthy foods, having enough physical exercises, and being active on a daily basis. Parents and guardians should also be aware of Type 2 diabetes warning signs since the condition is asymptomatic. The warning signs include having blurred visions, abnormal fatigue, increased thirst, and frequent nighttime urination. Upon identification of the signs, the parents and guardians are supposed to take their children for Type 2 diabetes screening (Karnik & Kanekar, 2015). So as to ensure that this goal is achieved, all relevant institutions, including government and learning institutions are expected to come up with effective policies that promote healthy living conditions and lifestyles. These policies have to be followed to the latter end, and form of punishments enforced to those who violate the provided laws. Health audits can be conducted in the relevant institutions so as to ascertain that the measures are adhered to, and any corrective measures undertaken in case of incompliances.


The first barrier to effective prevention of childhood diabetes and Type 2 diabetes is financial challenges. All the programs that lead to interventions of the diseases based both in schools and community levels need subsequent monitoring of improvement and sustainability for longer periods of time. Therefore with insufficient funds, the program facilitators may end up using ineffective methods or discontinue the programs, which will end up negating the whole process. School based intervention programs need more funds since it involves training of teachers, provision of enough facilities and promotion of policies that encourage healthy lifestyles. It is also the most essential and preferred intervention mechanism since children longer in schools than they stay in their homes or community (Segel, 2011).

Read also Fast Foods and Obesity Research Paper

Communities on the other hand will find it difficult to provide safe neighborhood for the children to play and exercise with insufficient funds. In order to avert this barrier, all the relevant institutions should practice transparency when explaining the impacts of the disease in society. This will help in raising funds especially form the private sector and other non-governmental organizations to help in mitigating the impacts. The federal and state governments on the other hand should allocate funds that can help in preventing occurrences in populations at high risks of getting both conditions.

Read also Community Health Assessment – Diabetes Associated Deaths – Wayne County

The other barrier is that stigmatizing obese children has become a common occurrence. Obese children are often face discrimination because of their body appearance, this reduces their chances of coming out for healthy programs and any other essential assistances.  This mostly happens in learning institutions and community settings, where interventions are mostly conducted. This act of stigmatization, especially by their peers, is seen as mental barrier and leads to undesirable body image and the avoidance of certain foods. This makes the condition worse because it can lead to other detrimental effects like malnutrition (Ortega-Cortes, 2013). This can be eliminated by implementing policies that support healthy living while at the same time discouraging any forms of discriminations of all persons. These policies should be supported by all levels of government, starting from national, regional to local.


The reduction of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes has more benefits to the patient population, the key ones being that it reduces the psychological and social health issues that can affect the well-being of the children throughout their lifespan. Obese children have negative body image which ends up lowering their self-esteem in the long run. This may also affect their academic and social lives which are more essential in a child’s growth (Koukourikos et al, 2013). With early detection and treatment, the children are able to live normal lives and achieve their desired potentials in future. With regard to the nursing profession; health promotion activities reduce the chances of disease occurrences hence increasing the rate of healthy populations. This promotes the roles of nurses in the society, which is creating and maintaining healthy environments. Reduced disease occurrence and spread will consequently lead to reduced roles and responsibilities on the part of health care providers and care givers.

Participants and Interdisciplinary Approach

For successful implementation of this plan, many stakeholders have to be involved. This is because the determinants of childhood obesity are varied and no single intervention is likely to eliminate it. With respect to that, varied stakeholders have to be incorporated in the plan as well. Sustained interventions have to be undertaken at different levels, individual levels especially in schools and communities with the aim of effecting changes in behaviors. The other important sectors are the agricultural departments, food manufacturing companies, learning institutions, transportation and urban planning departments (Segel, 2011). The other important people are the public health officers who can assist in diseases surveillances and epidemiology. Medical officers are needed to provide treatment and management of the diseases among the populations already affected by the chronic complications of both childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

Read also Morbid Obesity Research Paper

The education sector will assist in incorporating healthy living programs in schools calendars.  Urban planning departments will take the important role of ensuring that children have the right environments for playing and physical exercise activities (Karnik & Kanekar, 2015). Agricultural and food manufacturing companies will ensure healthy and nutritious foods are marketed and sold to the public. Parents and guardians have to take the role of instilling good healthy practices among the children while in home, while teachers are mandated to provide the same roles while the children are in schools. The federal and state governments are mandated to protect the rights of children to access good health services and live healthy lives.


Obesity among children has become a public health concern not only in the United States of America but the entire world. This is because it has led to the development of conditions that were prevalent in adults to the children population. This includes the sudden increase of Type 2 Diabetes among the children, which is strongly associated with childhood obesity. It is important to note that continuous increase in childhood obesity will lead to corresponding increase in Type 2 Diabetes (Segel, 2011). This will have negative impacts not only to the affected individuals but also the entire society. It will negatively impact the economy of the affected states and nations because more time and available resources will be used in solving challenges that are caused by the diseases. Therefore sustainable interventions have to effected by all the stakeholders so as to ensure that all children live healthy and have brighter future.

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Fast Foods and Obesity Research Paper

The rise of the fast food business in the 1970s was the beginning of a new industry that currently has around 300,000 establishments in the United States alone. It was a new business model meant to attract potential consumer with new products that were intended to boost their profits. Even though the venture was noble in its formative stages, it was soon apparent that there was a direct correlation between fast foods and the rise in obesity cases. It was more shocking when researchers went on to reveal 19% of children were now at the risk of developing type two diabetes which was mostly unseen before (Barbour, 2011, p. 47). It is possible to investigate this issue by first taking a trip back memory lane during the pioneer days when people had to cultivate their plants, take care of their animals and prepare their foods from scratch. During this period there were no pre-made meals or box mixes and the planning of meals had to be done a day in advance. A change from this norm to the quick and easy foods such as the greasy burgers that we are now accustomed has led to an unprecedented rise in obesity rates across the globe. In this essay, I seek to prove that the consumers are not entirely to blame for this epidemic and practical options to solving the debacle.

The rise in obesity cases across the globe has led to a blame-game scenario where fast food franchises absolve themselves of liability while blaming the consumers binge eating demeanor as the primary cause. Recently there have been cases of individuals who had taken this rivalry to a new level when a group of young individuals decided to sue McDonald’s for causing their obesity. Absurd as it seems, those facing this contemporary affliction may not be entire to blame. Their affordability and accessibility are some of the primary reasons why individuals increasingly find themselves having to consume these foods. Keeping away from these foods proves difficult, especially when those expected to avoid them for their detrimental effects seem to lack an alternative (In Sanford, 2014, p. 56). It is important to note that teenage consumers in particular lack options while growing up as the fast foods that they come across are ubiquitously quick and cheap which increases their allure. Food chain franchises have profit as their priority with the consumer’s health coming second. It is apparent that these establishments and stakeholders in the industry are fully aware of the health risks that their products might have on their consumers. Appropriate safeguards are lacking as they intentionally avoid going public with this information making the fast food industry a significant culprit.

Researchers have concluded that an increase in the calories that individuals consume coupled with low physical activities play a significant role in promoting obesity among individuals. An analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Survey (NHANES) into obesity reveals that an increase in energy and quantity of high-density foods that persons consume is to blame for obesity. Furthermore, studies show that the United States has a per capita calorie intake that has risen presently to a figure that exceeds 300 kilocalories (kcal) in its population between the years 1985 and 2002. It is common knowledge that most Americans are overcommitted and overscheduled, running from activity to activity without making plans on what they would want to consume. It is for this reason that they see it fit to grab a takeout meal at bodega than preparing a meal at home. A look at the nutritional content of foods from the menus in these restaurants brings the issue into perspective. For instance, a McDonald Big Mac has 540calories/29g of fats, a Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe Double with 880calories/52g of fat and a Taco Bell Nachos Bell Grande containing a whopping 770 calories/24g of fat (Schlosser, 2002, p. 78).  It is quite astonishing that consumers are not privy to this information while it is succinct that they are serving foods that are highly processed, full of calories, fat, and sodium. An individual could easily consume 1,500 calories in one sitting. An individual choosing the typical fast food meal each day is at risk of taking in a high calorific content leading to waiting for gain and health conditions such as heart disease.

In conclusion, fast foods revolutionized life by providing individuals with a quick and affordable way of obtaining food. It is only recently that the real costs of this culture have dawned individuals with an increase in obesity cases. The fast-food franchises also play a significant role in this situation as they fail to inform the consumers of the calories that their foods contain and the effects they may have on their health. Moreover, it is quite unfortunate that most individuals are not aware of the consequences that fast foods have on them and are mostly unaware of the risk of developing cardiovascular disease from the extra fat in their meals. All players should embark on sensitization campaign encouraging the consumption of low sodium diets that would most likely maintain their blood pressure at an optimum level. Individuals should choose healthier options such as lettuce topped grilled meat, substitute their fries, choose calorie-free drinks and leave off sauces as dressings for their food for posterity purposes.

Morbid Obesity Research Paper

Part 1: Analysis of the Morbid Obesity Process in General

Introduction: Definition of Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity is a condition associated with individuals who register a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40, which constitutes more than 50% or 100% above what their ideal body weight should be (Sturm & Hattori, 2013). The BMI is a test used in the estimation of body fat content and helps in the determination of an individual’s health based on a correlation between size, height, and weight (Sturm & Hattori, 2013). Despite the fact that BMI does not provide perfect measurements, it does however provide a general estimation of an individual’s ideal range weight for their height.

Pathophysiology and Epidemiology/Prevalence/Risk Factors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, more than 50% of the adult population are either overweight or obese, which translates to approximately 120 million adults (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). Out of this group those who suffer severe obesity constitute about 20 million adults (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). Adults living with morbid obesity in the United States amount to at least 24 million. This problem of obesity is becoming a health epidemic with more people around the world being diagnosed with this condition. In the United States, between the year 1980 and 2010, the prevalence of obesity has increased from 15% to 36% with the prevalence of extreme obesity in women being at 8.2% while that of men at 4.4% (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). That said, research has shown that compared to white males, women and minorities are affected the most by obesity and morbid obesity. With 17% of adolescents and children suffering from obesity, the situation appears to be worse especially because the prevalence of obesity in this age group has tripled from 1980 (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013).

The understanding of what causes morbid obesity is based on the logic that when energy usage is exceeded by caloric intake then one’s total body fat increases (Zhang, et al., 2014). When one eats, the body uses the calories from the food to run body functions and when the calories are not fully utilized, the body converts them and stores them as fat. Morbid obesity is thus a result of too much fat being stored in the body. That said, behavioral factors play a major role in the development of morbid obesity, for instance, there is a strong correlation between people’s eating habits, exercising habits or physical output and the development of morbid obesity (Zhang, et al., 2014). Be that as it may, how an individual’s body stores energy or fat can be affected by genetic factors, which makes certain individuals more susceptible to developing morbid obesity compared to others (Zhang, et al., 2014).

Clinical Presentation/Symptoms

Morbid obesity is associated with over 30 comorbid conditions. 15% to 25% of obese patients present with diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). Debilitating joint disease is also common in patients with morbid obesity because of the stressing effect that excess weight has on the back and joints. In morbidly obese patients, conditions such as abdominal hernia, venous stasis disease, stress urinary incontinence, and gastro esophageal reflux are contributed to by intra-abdominal pressure, which is as a result of increased abdominal fat (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). Liver failure due to fatty deposits in the liver is also a common presentation especially after the liver progresses to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Type 2 diabetes, blood lipid abnormalities, heart disease, gallstones, reproductive problems, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, stroke, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis are some of the serious and complicated health problems associated with morbid obesity (Zhang, et al., 2014). According to (Pour, Norouzzadeh, & Heidari, 2015), risk factors such as obesity, smoking and hypertension affected the symptoms of Acute Coronary Syndrome with both younger and older patients exhibiting a lesser chance of experiencing typical symptoms.

Natural history of Morbid Obesity

Primarily, adipose tissue is stored in the abdominal cavity and subcutaneously, with males more likely to deposit fat in the abdominal compartment while females being more likely to deposit fat in the peripheral tissues. Peripheral fat is less metabolically activity compared to central or visceral fat, which is often associated with increased risk of cardiovascular atherosclerotic disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). It has been observed fairly accurately that in the development of obesity, the number of fat cells are continually on the increase and as they grow higher amounts of cytokines are released and consequently lower amounts of adiponectin are released (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013). Consequently, lipid metabolism and glucose are affected negatively resulting in the proinflammatory state associated with obesity. This state of low-grade inflammation has been implicated in the development of the hypercoagulable state, and coronary and vascular artery disease seen in patients with morbid obesity (Brethauer, Kashyap, & Schauer, 2013).

Diagnostic Testing

In the determination of morbid obesity, a patient’s BMI is one of the most significant indicators together with any noteworthy comorbid conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or arthritis, which are often chronic. To uncover previously undiagnosed comorbidities thorough physical and history examination would need to be carried out. A thorough history examination should also reveal obstructive sleep apnea, which often goes unrecognized in patients with morbid obesity. A baseline electrocardiogram (ECG) should be carried out on patients being evaluated for morbid obesity because obese patients are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease.

Medical Management/Treatment Plan including goals of treatment, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment including rationales from evidence-based studies

There are two main options in the treatment of morbid obesity: Non-surgical treatment and surgical treatment. Under the non-surgical option of treating morbid obesity there are conventional methods recommended for weight loss such as medication, exercise, and dieting. While these options may work in the short-term, for people who present with morbid obesity, these options may not solve the problem permanently, resulting instead in the ‘yo-yo syndrome’ where weight lost is continually gained back and lost again often with serious health and psychological consequences. Since the development of obesity may involve central pathophysiological mechanisms such as neuroendocrine hormone dysfunction and impaired brain circuit regulation, anti-obesity drugs may be prescribed in addition to other management therapies to reduce fat absorption and appetite (Zhang, et al., 2014).

Under the surgical option of treating morbid obesity there are certain procedures such as Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding and the Gastric Sleeve that have helped patients improve their health and enhance their quality of life by maintaining significant weight loss (Alexandrou, et al., 2015). In the effort to lessen nutrient absorption and stomach volume, and to induce faster satiety, Bariatric surgeries performed on morbidly obese individuals have been successful.

Morbidly Obese Patients and Family

Morbidly obese children and adults alike face numerous challenges in their lives and often become withdrawn from society through experiencing instances of stereotyping, stigma, and rejection, which takes a toll on their health and psychological wellbeing. This often results in anxiety, body image concerns, avoidance of physical activity, suicide, self-harm, depression, low self-esteem, and binge eating (Flint, 2015). This further strains their relationships with their families who have to care for them, assist them with mobility, contribute financially to cater for their medical expenses and non-standard lifestyle that requires modifications in nearly all areas, transportation, dietary needs, specialized equipment, and modified structures at home. To help morbidly obese patients and their families to co-existing positively and supportively, the preservation of patients’ dignity remains at the core where the family ought to receive caregiver training and education that uses supportive language, and respectful communication (American Diabetes Association, 2016).


Morbid obesity is an ultimately fatal disease with those living with the disease living in a difficult state. To make the management and care of morbid obesity more effective and streamlined, the needs and perspectives of patients, care providers and the family members of the patients must be understood. To optimize opportunities and to avoid substandard approaches in the provision of the best care for morbidly obese patients, lessons should be continually learned from the current and past experiences of caring for the morbidly obese patients.

Childhood Obesity – Review Of The Literature

The following is a review of literature related to childhood obesity which is major health problem all over the world. The essay will focus on the different studies that have been done on childhood obesity and the recommended solutions to the problem. Most of the literature recognizes that childhood obesity is a major health problem, and not one single intervention is adequate to deal with the problem. The role of nurses in interventions is critical to reducing and preventing childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity is a big problem in Spain and other developed countries. A study was done in Spain which provided an overview of obesity in Spain, and the approach required to develop preventive strategies in the country. It acknowledged that obesity is a major public issue in developed countries. It also provided statistics of obesity in Spain. Prevalence of obesity in Spanish children is 13.9% for the whole group. The causes of obesity in Spain are absence of breast feeding, low consumption of fruits, vegetables, high consumptions of soft drinks, sweetened foods, and low physical activity due to too much time spent watching television. It proposes a school based intervention project as a solution for dealing with the problem. The program will promote healthy eating at the school level with the support of parents (Aranceta et al, 2007).

Promoting knowledge among undergraduate nursing students is important in the prevention of obesity when they start to practice. There are numerous health issues that are related to the childhood obesity pandemic. There is single strategy than can deal with the problem effectively.  Nurses need to work together with children and parents through education, guidance and support. Nurses play a significant role in interventions for treating childhood obesity. If nurses are trained in childhood obesity before they practice, it will prepare them on how to deal with children with obesity. It will develop their creative ability in engaging children to learn about obesity (Ellen Ben-Sefer, 2008).

Childhood obesity is a major health issue that an international panel of experts did a systematic review of obesity to come up with best practice. The objective was to make recommendations about the development and implementation of best practice recommendations to promote healthy weight in children and youth for the prevention of chronic diseases associated with obesity. The panel analyzed 147 intervention programs based in pre-school, primary school and secondary schools. It concluded that not a single program provided any model for best practice. However, it proposed that schools were the best setting for intervention programs for obesity. Schools were ideal for also promoting physical activity which is an essential component of reducing and preventing obesity. Programs should be evaluated on the long term effect to maintaining healthy weight (Flynn et al., 2006).

  1. Nurses and families can work together in dealing with overweight children. Nurses can also provide the knowledge and support to families to deal with overweight children before they become obese. Preventing and reducing obesity among children requires the involvement of families and nurses. These two groups are critical in providing education, support and guidance during intervention programs and to reduce the pandemic (Harbaugh et al, 2007).

Mothers play an important role in the health of their children. A group of mothers with obese children have come up with strategies designed to deal with obesity. Healthy eating habits begin with the parents. The mothers initiated a range of strategies that included development of physical activities, reducing consumption of junk food, and creating awareness of healthy foods.  If mothers make healthy choices from the time their children are born, it is more likely that the children will not become obese. The study supported the role of nurses in working with mothers in implementing interventions that deal with obesity (Jackson, Mannix, Faga, and McDonald, 2005).

The gravity of childhood obesity in the United States is alarming. Obesity is an epidemic that is threatening America as the number of obese adults is rapidly increasing. Children need to change their eating habits and start making healthy choices. American needs to change their lifestyles as over 50% of obese children become obese adults. Chronic diseases related to obesity are on the rise and there is need for the use of health practitioners such as nurses in the fight against obesity (Kaufman, 2005).

Nurse practitioners play a significant role in dealing with childhood obesity. A study was done to describe the prevention practices that nurse practitioners (NPs) in family and pediatric practices use in dealing with childhood obesity. It concludes that NPs working in family and pediatric practices are not consistent in screening for childhood obesity through the checking of Body Mass Index (BMI). However, NPs are involved and committed to teaching parents about making healthy food choice and engaging their families in physical activity. This study supports the significant role that nurses play in the prevention and reduction of childhood obesity. It concludes that the major barriers to the implementation of childhood obesity strategies are parental attitudes, American lifestyle and lack of resources for both the NP and the family (Larsen, Mandleco, Williams, and Tiedeman, 2006).

Childhood obesity is an increasing health problem linked to chronic health problems in adults and children. Childhood obesity is a major health issue because of its association with other chronic diseases such as diabetes. One of the major challenges of obesity is when it persists into adulthood. Decreasing calorie intake and burning calories through physical activities are not enough to reduce obesity. The use of case management is useful in dealing with chronic health problems brought about by obesity. This is better than single interventions on weight management which cannot detect other chronic illnesses related to obesity. (Mason et al, 2008).

Many studies have been done to come up with methods to use as best practice for obesity prevention. One of the causes of obesity is lack of access to healthy foods. Most children with obesity have access to a lot of junk food, and sweetened drinks compared to healthy food. Determining the location of food retailers in relation to the urban population density of obesity behaviors is important in coming up with best practice to prevent obesity. Best practice should include interventions that support nutrition and healthy choices and accessibility to these in preventing obesity in children (McNeil and Flynn, 2006).

The performance of clinician’s performance in identifying and managing obesity can help determine how effective they are in preventing obesity. An analysis on statistical information on the rates of identification of obesity by pediatric residents, nurses, and faculty in an academic primary care setting can determine their performance. Pediatric health care providers are the crucial initial step in the management of obesity. They are the first point of contact that children make when they are ill, and early detection and prevention can help reduce obesity (O’Brien, Holubkov, and Reis, 2004).

Pediatric obesity is a chronic and growing problem for which new ideas offer hope for effective solutions. It is important that understanding that obesity is an increase in fat mass and not body weight can assist in coming up with effective solutions. The identification of bio chemicals that cause obesity through genetic approaches can provide a theoretical foundation to develop safe and effective obesity treatments. This is a different approach to coming up with a solution for obesity as no single intervention can be used to prevent it (Schonfeld-Warden and Warden, 1997).

Technology is an important tool in health care management. The use of Health Information Technology (HIT) in the screening and treatment of childhood obesity can be beneficial in the reduction and prevention of obesity. Childhood obesity is a global health issue affecting children in every country. HIT can be used for screening purposes and for monitoring the effectiveness of various interventions for childhood obesity. HIT can improve the quality, efficiency, and management of childhood obesity (Smith et al, 2013).

Dietary treatments in children with simple obesity through the analysis of the children’s state of nutrition and eating habits are an effective way of preventing childhood obesity. Simple obesity in children aged 3-15 is connected to familial, environmental factors and incorrect eating habits. Diet is an important aspect of any intervention for childhood obesity. When a child understands the benefits of eating health early in life, they will develop healthy eating habits which will reduce the chances of them becoming obese (Weker, 2006).

Nurses play a significant role in fighting obesity in children. A combination of strategies is required to fight the disease. Statistics on obesity in the United States are alarming as the number of children with chronic diseases related to obesity is also on the rise. Nurses are an important part of the solution as they can educate and support children and their families on changing their lifestyles and making healthy choices (White, 2002).

The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity among Hong Kong Chinese children are over 10%. The differences in behavior between overweight children and obese children are statistically significant. These two groups are different, and therefore different intervention strategies should be used for each group. Health issues affecting overweight children are very different from those affecting obese children (Wong, 2005).

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