Child and Adolescent Obesity Essay

Child and Adolescent Obesity Essay


A global epidemic of being overweight and obese presents huge challenges in the prevention of chronic diseases across the life span. According to Hruby & Hu (2015), mechanized transport, industrialization, economic growth, sedentary lifestyles, urbanization, and early transition to processed foods right high in calories fuel this epidemic to quadruple. In decades to come, the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity foreshadows a high disease burden for healthcare systems and individuals. As a highly complex and multifactorial disease with behavioral, genetic, socioeconomic, and environmental causes, obesity has a high mortality and morbidity risk. Without proper intervention to address the current trends, Hruby & Hu (2015) approximate that by the year 2030, the prevalence of overweight and obese children and adolescents will be 38% and 20% respectively.


The USPSTF (United States Preventive Services Task Force) acknowledges that addressing obesity in this population is an integral part of reducing the concomitant prevalence of chronic illnesses in the US. It further provides recommendations on the assessment and prevention of overweight and obese children and adolescents. According to Grossman et al (2017), the recommendations provide the most practical and best scientific evidence for practice and moving forward. Child and Adolescent Obesity Essay.


The obesity epidemic is a threat to public health where the healthcare community plays a huge role by advocating for community programs to support and teach healthy behavior. Grossman et al. (2017) acknowledge how current programs for preventing and managing obesity have proven to be successful. Apart from healthcare providers embracing multiple childhood obesity clinical resources such as evidence-based obesity management toolkits, they can express a desire for training, and willingness to advocate for policy changes. Although the strategies provided by the USPSTF serve as a good foundation for obesity assessment, prevention, and management strategies, the following recommendations would improve outcomes and future trends.





  • All children must exclusively be breastfed to 6 months of age and maintain breastfeeding after introducing solids to 12 months or beyond.
  • Children should have breakfast daily including whole fruit, grains, and low-fat milk.
  • To reinforce positive lifestyle behaviors, meal times should include all family members
  • Avoid excess intake of fruit juice, and beverages with sweetened sugar
  • Encourage children to drink water other times during the day.
  • Limiting the intake of calories by age and balancing with physical activity to uphold required weight and growth (Hruby & Hu, 2015). Child and Adolescent Obesity Essay.

Physical Activity and Screen time

  • Hruby & Hu (2015) suggests that children and adolescents should actively take part in moderate to intense physical activity for at least one hour every day.
  • Families must limit screen time and television and preferably keep electronic screens and  televisions  out of the children’s bedrooms
  • The whole family should exercise for longer than 60 minutes as it yields  high benefits

Additional Support

  • Healthcare practitioners should engage families at high risk of obesity (maternal diabetes, parental obesity)
  • Use a family-based approach  to  address and prevent obesity
  • Encourage parents to use an authoritative parenting style that supports increased physical activity, decrease sedentary lifestyle, give children tangible and motivational support, and encouraging parents to model healthy behavior (Hruby & Hu, 2015).
  • Healthcare providers should acknowledge the challenges associated with changing physical activity and dietary behaviors, utilize and refer to resources as part of management. Child and Adolescent Obesity Essay.


Grossman, D. C., Bibbins-Domingo, K., Curry, S. J., Barry, M. J., Davidson, K. W., Doubeni, C. A., & Landefeld, C. S. (2017). Screening for obesity in children and adolescents: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Jama317(23), 2417-2426.s

Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The Epidemiology of Obesity: A Big Picture. PharmacoEconomics33(7), 673–689. Child and Adolescent Obesity Essay.