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Focus on Child Obesity

Clinical Update May 2014
By Zur Institute

View a complete list of Clinical Updates.

Obesity in Children

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. This places children at increased risk of more than one cardiovascular risk factor. Further, understanding of the underlying causes of childhood obesity is currently limited to nutritional and physical activity factors, with little attention being paid to lifestyle and emotional factors that strongly contribute to the chance that a child will become obese.

Understanding the constellation of diverse factors that contribute to childhood obesity is a critical step toward a comprehensive treatment approach. Armed with this knowledge, health care providers, teachers, counselors and parents are in a much better position to present a healthy lifestyle to a child in a way that increases his/ her motivation and helps exercise and healthy eating become a more permanent role in a child's life. For instance, a thorough understanding of the emotional experience of the obese child leads to a more empathetic approach to treatment. It allows the caregiver to present an exercise and healthy eating routine in a way that is more likely to be well-received and ultimately successful in treating the obese child.

 

Did you know?

  • Understanding childhood obesity from a global perspective allows the health care professional to provide treatment that extends beyond typical exercise and nutritional advice to creating a lifestyle that will support the child emotionally and increase the likelihood of success.
  • Understanding motivation in children and the ways in which it can be increased offers the health care professional who works with children the unique opportunity to engage the child in becoming more healthy.
  • The health care professional who can teach a parent to engage the child in the process of creating a nutritional and exercise routine will have much more success in creating the lasting change that has been proven to be preventative in treating child obesity.
  • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese.
  • Increasing a child's motivation engages him/her in the process of taking ownership over his/her health, ultimately leading to greater success.
  • Typical treatment efforts for childhood obesity focus solely on nutrition and exercise factors and ignore the emotional factors that contribute to the problem.

 

Did you know?

  • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese.
  • Increasing a child's motivation engages him/her in the process of taking ownership over his/her health, ultimately leading to greater success.
  • Typical treatment efforts for childhood obesity focus solely on nutrition and exercise factors and ignore the emotional factors that contribute to the problem.
  • Understanding childhood obesity from a global perspective allows the health care professional to provide treatment that extends beyond typical exercise and nutritional advice to creating a lifestyle that will support the child emotionally and increase the likelihood of success.
  • Understanding motivation in children and the ways in which it can be increased offers the health care professional who works with children the unique opportunity to engage the child in becoming more healthy.
  • The health care professional who can teach a parent to engage the child in the process of creating a nutritional and exercise routine will have much more success in creating the lasting change that has been proven to be preventative in treating child obesity.
 

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