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Effects on Children with Diabetes



A few decades ago, having a plump child was evidence of a wealthy family that is taking care of a kid. But nowadays, a child’s obesity became a sign of serious diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. It became a medical condition, which means that the weight and height of a child are disproportional. Obesity is commonly observed in children under the age of 15. Childhood obesity is considered to be a great epidemic disease, which has considerably grown since the last few decades.

Approximately 70% of children in the USA are obese and suffering from cardiovascular disease and diabetes. After 1980 this quantity doubled and diabetes became the most increasing disease over the United States. Moreover, as for nutrition problems, obesity has replaced malnutrition in some parts of Africa. Taking into consideration the death rate, obesity is well-known as the easiest disease to discover, but it is recognized as the most difficult to treat. Indeed, approximately 300,000 deaths per year are associated with obesity-related health problems (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004).

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Diabetes Is a Core Cause of Obesity

To begin with, it is pivotal to mention that diabetes is a core cause of obesity, which is why it is necessary to define its meaning. Generally, obesity is a large amount of fat in the body. It is greatly influenced by environmental, biological, behavioral and socioeconomic factors. It tends to increase the body weight in relation to the height, which usually appears to be under the standard or Body Mass Index (BMI). The standard way of calculating the BMI, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is the following: take the weight in pounds, divide it by height; then take the result of that calculation and divide it by height again, and multiply that number by 703. For instance, a 12-year-old girl, 190 lbs in weight and 5'5'' in height, in compliance with the BMI formula, should have the following weight:

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculations

BMI = (190/65*65)* 703 =31, 6 (Schwimmer, Burwinkle and Varni, 2003)

30% of adult obesity begins in childhood. But what is the prime source of its apparition? There is no single cause, which one can blame for such a high rate of childhood obesity. Children's habits are affected by numerous factors, which include easy access to junk food and soda, not realizing the importance of healthy food, and not enough appropriate places where they can play and exercise. However, there are several factors that are considered to be of great importance nowadays. These are:

  • changes in lifestyle:
  • irrational nutrition;
  • genetics;
  • physical activity (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004).

Children use different mechanical devices, automobiles, elevators instead of walking down and up the stairs. With the beginning of the technological revolution, children became more indifferent to the former ways of spending free time (pleasure-trips, hide-and-seek, and picnics) and started the excessive exploitation of computers, televisions and other electronic devices. At first sight, it doesn’t seem to be harmful at all since children are sitting at home and they are completely under control.

But on the other hand, it leads to the diminution of liveliness, and that becomes the part and parcel of obesity formation. At the same time, the school government is also responsible for kids’ illnesses. The reduction of physical training during the lessons is a reason for kids’ laziness. Decreased participation in physical activities not only cause obesity among children but also increases the risk of hurting the blood pressure and bone strength.

Furthermore, parents also make a big mistake by hiring a babysitter. It is obvious that nannies do not want kids to be hurt that is why they prefer to spend more time with them at home. As a result, children switch the computer or television on and watch it all day long. The data assert that those kids, who watch television more than five hours a day, have a bigger chance to put on weight (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 2006).

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Some changes in the usual lifestyle can make a child suffer from obesity and further from diabetes. Family embroilments, transfer to another city or even country, changes in a child`s circle of friends, truancy, parents’ divorce, and other issues undoubtedly play a pivotal role in forming such a condition as kids’ depression. As a result of being constantly depressed, children start eating unhealthy food in exaggerated amounts. Soon the food becomes their weak point, their comfortable friend that they can always be side by side with. And as a result, they start gaining weight.

Inappropriate nutrition is one of the strongest causes of obesity and diabetes. Consumption of big amount of high-calorie food and drinks causes young children to be overweight. Sometimes it happens that conscious children try to lose weight by themselves, but often they only make their situation worse by not meeting the basic diet requirements. For instance, among questioned children in Colorado, only 8 % answered that they eat vegetables more than three times a day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The rest answered that they are trying to take some medicine to make their bodies look fitter (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition program, 2006).

2 Groups of Effects of Childhood Obesity

There can be 2 groups of effects of childhood obesity: physical effects and psychological effects.

  1. Physical problems include cardiovascular risks, such as heart failure and stroke. Other serious issues occurring as a result of obesity are type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Not less important are sleeping disorders, early sexual maturity and eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa. Moreover, children may suffer from a lack of stamina and joint and bone problems because of the overweight body mass. In accordance to the CDC, 70 percent of children, who are suffering from obesity at the age of 5 to 17, have at least one cardiovascular disease, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or unhealthy cholesterol levels. Moreover, obese children may suffer from asthma, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and life-threatening complications, such as heart or kidney failure (McLaughlin, 2010).
  2. Taking psychological effects into account one can distinguish depression, low self-esteem, fears of being mocked, disliked or humiliated due to the way they look. Those children who have been diagnosed with diabetes due to the overweight are the first to experience stress levels at school or even home and they are likely to be intimidated by society. As a further result, they can experience shyness, feeling lonely or even drug or alcohol abuse. In most cases, people who are suffering from obesity from early childhood find it difficult to forget the way they were treated and, as a result, they become confidential, mistrustful and full of inferiority complexes. According to Schwimmer, the quality of life of obese children is compared to the life of cancer-sick patients. It is hard for obese children to make friends since almost everybody is making fun of them (Schwimmer, Burwinkle and Varni, 2003).
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Most of the time children, suffering from obesity, experience teasing from peers. That is the main reason why they feel inferior and do not tend to elevate their lives to great heights. To their mind, they do not deserve it because of their weight. The motive for teasing overweight people is the thought that they need to blame themselves for having such a look. Everybody says that they need to eat less and to exercise more. People often do not realize that those obese people may come from poor families where they can not buy a lot of food. The thing is that even eating small portions one can put on weight. Here is the fault of climate and toxic food environment. It appears to be disastrous for half of the world`s population. So, it is unfair to blame people for being indifferent when they really can not resist gaining weight (Miller, Rosenbloom, Silverstein, 2004).

Under this hypothesis, one can make the conclusion that people need to change the environment to make the problem of obesity not so disastrous. Joe Thompson, the pediatrician at the Arkansas College of Medicine, claims that obesity problems among children can be reduced by offering healthier choices of food in school cafeterias. To prevent obesity the government should also take control of its hands. It would be sensible to improve the food factories, to make them produce only wholesome products without any admixtures (McLaughlin, 2010).

Obesity and Diabetes in Children and Early Death

Obesity and diabetes in children usually trample to an early death. The life expectancy of these people is usually shorter than of people with normal weight. Researchers say that children with type 2 diabetes can die before the age of 55 as well as those who are suffering from high blood pressure. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to be observed among girls than among boys. The results of the study show that 80 % of children taking part in the study were female. It is a well-known fact that girls carry 26 % more fat than boys that may contribute to relative insulin resistance in the female population. High levels of BMI and blood glucose are the most serious predictors of early death. Children who have higher BMI levels usually have double risk of dying earlier than those who have lower levels of BMI (Riccairdelli, McCabe, Banfield, 2002).

While childhood obesity proves to be a life-treating condition for a long period of time, children suffering from obesity need rigorous medical investigations performed by leading specialists in this sphere. Usually, pediatricians are able to solve the problem of child obesity. However, if the reason is not physical than it is necessary to ask diabetologists for help. The proper selection of a diet, without hurting any life significant organs, will help to decrease the number of eaten calories and increase the level of physical activity. With age problems may become more serious, that is why substantial steps need to be taken to prevent or to cure this disease (McLaughlin, 2010).

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Preventing obesity among children is a core principle of parents’ duties if they want long-term health for their kids. Child’s nutrition must be under strict control unless parents want to struggle with the excessive weight of their children. First of all, it is vital to keep in mind that healthy nutrition is a key element to the child’s well-being. There is no way that children should suffer from hunger in order to lose some pounds. It is generally true that it can negatively affect children’s health in various ways.

Poor nutrition can also lead to obesity as well as to mental problems, dental problems and as a result of its poor educational outcomes. One can grow thin without any starvation. A good and healthy diet is a compound of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Good carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products. Fats are also considered to be an essential part of proper nutrition. One can find a good amount of fats in fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds (McLaughlin, 2010).

Research Paper Summary Sample

All in all, one apprehends obesity as a lifelong issue. The most important reason why it takes so long for people to lose pounds is that they lack the power of will. They start losing desired pounds, then get tired of restrictions, exercises, diets and then go back to their usual habits of eating anything they wish. That is why it is considered to be the biggest problem when losing weight since no one can force a person to do what he or she does not want to do. Families play a crucial role in helping their children to combat diabetes. Moreover, the effect of diabetes, to some extent, depends on children’s and families’ acknowledgment and realization of self-care and support.

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