20 Jun 2022


Adequate Healthcare and Obesity in Children

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Academic level: University

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 2297

Pages: 15

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Introduction : Child obesity has been a severe pandemic in the United States, predisposing children, and teenagers to poor health. The occurrence of the disease is still high among the category of individuals in society. The purpose of this study was to assess how adequate healthcare impacted childhood obesity in America in the past years. 

Methods: A literature review was done for 15 sources derived from databases such as EBSCOhost, PubMed, ADA, Google scholar, and Global Pediatric Health. The key phrases that were helpful to locate the sources include: “Adequate healthcare and childhood obesity, “quality healthcare and overweight children,” and healthcare influencing childhood obesity,” and “healthcare provision and childhood obesity.” 

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Results: The younger generation has been expressing some unique situations that have been in the past associated with the adults. Healthcare practitioners have not been deliberate in recognizing that simplistic BMI cut-offs are not always the ultimate indication or the only thing to look for when diagnosing obesity-motivated conditions. 

Discussion: The findings reveal that several children and young people have an increased probability of comorbidities at a later stage as compared to those who become obese in their adulthood. The suggestion that obesity is a normal reaction of the child's body to its immediate surrounding and that the reaction between the two should be the central focus for intervention is simplistic and should be loosely regarded. 

Conclusion: Practitioners should not wait for the medical complications to be noted in the children by themselves or parents before they begin addressing issues of obesity, as sometimes this could be too late. 

Adequate Healthcare and Obesity in Children 


In the middle of the global obesity pandemic, healthcare practitioners encounter the disheartening challenge of prevention and treatment. It is crucial to study obesity in children and adequate healthcare because today, there is an obesity epidemic that needs urgent intervention. Cases of children suffering from obesity are increasingly being witnessed (Sjunnestrand et al., 2019). The study of how adequate healthcare influence childhood obesity is significant as they highlight a topic that needs dynamic approaches. Today, the sedentary living of both children and adults has significantly contributed to obesity. With the digital era, children are less involved in physical activities. They are also likely to consume refined foods or fast foods because of changes in community settings, economy, and food chain dynamics. The societal changes that have increased the exposure of children to obesity are evolving as well. Healthcare stakeholders need to generate innovative ideas to deal with this challenge. 

The healthcare sector needs to adequately prepare to deal with these trends to influence positive healthcare outcomes among children with obesity (Siegel et al., 2018; Doherty et al., 2017). Preventive care is also instrumental in reducing vulnerability to obesity. Studying the two variables (adequate healthcare and obesity in children) makes it possible to enhance preventive care and protect vulnerable children who are likely to be victims more informed. 


The approach examines the prevalence of child obesity and recommends measures that will ensure comprehensive and quality health care through a systematic literature review. Healthcare quality is a matter of concern since childhood obesity is sometimes an outcome of reluctance and poor quality of health delivery in the sector. The researcher utilized the following major search engines: EbscoHost, Google Scholar, PubMed, ADA, and Global Pediatric Health. The initial results searched from various tools displayed 1700 articles in total. The keywords searched were "Adequate healthcare and childhood obesity, "quality healthcare and overweight children," and healthcare influencing childhood obesity," and "healthcare provision and childhood obesity." The sources the researcher chose for this study were from 2017 in the future. The researcher later examined the articles and determined whether they met the criteria of discussing childhood obesity and as it relates to the type of healthcare given or received. This narrowed down the articles to fifteen, which the research evaluated to perform his study. The selected articles provided every information presented in this paper (constituting the results and discussion).  


The findings from the 15 articles reviewed on healthcare provision and childhood obesity in the United States over the past decade are as follows.  

The younger generation has been expressing some unique situations that have been in the past associated with the adults. Today, atherosclerotic signs have been witnessed in children ages three years and about (Ziauddeen et al., 2020, Cecchini, 2018). The occurrence of obesity among children has heightened, giving a chance for other cardiovascular diseases and heightened resistance to insulin or the existence of diabetes (type 2).  

Child obesity has attained higher levels in the US now than before. In the past three decades, the occurrence of obesity has more than doubled in children (Sjunnestrand et al., 2019; Park & Cormier, 2018).  

The most recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey confirm that obesity among children in the US and teenagers was 18.5 percent in 2015 – 2018 (de Pooter, 2020; Kelly et al., 2019).  

The susceptibility of school-aged adolescents (12 -19 years) is about 38.8 percent, which is higher than the preschool-aged children between 2 and 5 years, which is 14.9 percent (Wong et al., 2017). 

Healthcare practitioners have not been deliberate in recognizing that simplistic BMI cut-offs are not always the ultimate indication or the only thing to look for when diagnosing obesity-motivated conditions (Olm et al., 2020).  

The trend of addressing childhood obesity needs has been discussed lightly and challenging simultaneously (Ziauddeen et al., 2020). The prevalence of obesity also regards the aspect of ethnicity, age, sex, sedentary living, and other things.  

There was mounting evidence (about 28.7 percent) that obese children were highly susceptible to developing diabetes and other opportunistic diseases (Olm et al., 2020; Sanchez-Ramirez et al., 2018). 

Obesity has affected many aspects of children's life including their mental, cardiovascular, and general physical health (Siegel et al., 2018). Obesity has been linked to other comorbidity conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and different cardiovascular and digestive illnesses. 

The aspect of children being overweight has predisposed them to numerous kinds of cancers in the breast, kidney, colon, and others (Doherty et al., 2017). If child obesity is not controlled in the early years of someone's life, it advances to critical stages later in life. 

It was determined that children and parents who perceived vulnerabilities to obesity and other conditions moderated their behaviors and avoided excesses in indulgence.  


The hypothesis of a relation between adequate healthcare and obesity in children was supported. Childhood obesity has become a menace across the world and seems to be prevalent in low-income and middle-income regions. The medicalization of childhood obesity has faced criticism among practitioners and scientists as concerns the possibility of stigmatizing children that are obese (Wong et al., 2017). However, there is a higher requisition for pharmacological and surgical interventions for the obese generally and among children. The intensity of the impact of obesity has been shifted to the status of "disease." Healthcare practitioners should be deliberate in recognizing that simplistic BMI cut-offs are not always the ultimate indication or the only thing to look for when diagnosing obesity motivated conditions (Hamilton, Dee, & Perry, 2018). In some situations, the metabolic effect of obesity can already be evident in children with mild levels of obesity, so that the practitioners do not wait only when the situation is at a critical stage. 

Many scientists and clinicians frequently term obesity in children as a risk factor or medical state and not a disease. They do not essentially categorize it under comorbidities that ought to be handled immediately medically (Park & Cormier, 2018). However, child obesity is commonly linked to abnormalities and failures in the body system. Some forms of obesity have elements of tissue-related resistance to the functions of insulin. They have heightened mechanical pressure on joints and challenged the cardiovascular system. Significantly, obesity at a childhood or adulthood level qualifies to be a disease that should worry someone. Therefore, childhood obesity is a chronic disease because its illness will persist for a long time.  

Cardiovascular diseases are the fatal sources of death for adults. On the other hand, accidents from cars have caused more deaths among teenagers than any other thing, and subsequently homicide and suicide. Nonetheless, we currently witness young individuals and children repeatedly die from causes formerly assigned to the adult population. For instance, a few years ago, it was uncommon to find that a child had died from myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular diseases that are heightened by the existence of obesity (Cecchini, 2018). Thus, the increase in obesity predisposes the children to some diseases and other cardiovascular risk factors that were not common in them before.  

In presenting the diabetic conditions to obese children (patients) and their parents/ families, healthcare practitioners should indicate their goal not to scare them and cause them to be worried. Instead, the practitioners should be precise. They would want to inform the parents and children that obesity is an acute disease that predisposes the child to many other opportunistic infections (Hamilton et al., 2018). The scary records of higher morbidity and mortality of children due to obesity and other cardiovascular diseases signal practitioners, patients, and parents strongly to deal with child obesity. 

The length of a child being obese for a long time is also linked with the susceptibility of attracting comorbidities over time, especially non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The urgency of attending to the condition emanates from the fact that an obese child is likely to grow into adulthood in the same state. That is, a reasonable assumption that many obese children and adolescents later become obese adults so that they have notable lifelong exposure to cardiovascular diseases than others. Dealing with adult obesity as a disease while not attributing the same to child obesity is not being cognizant of the length of exposure they have had (Staiano et al., 2017). It demonstrates that several children and young people have an increased probability of comorbidities at a later stage as compared to those who become obese in their adulthood.  

The suggestion that obesity is basically a normal reaction of the child's body to its immediate surrounding and that the reaction between the two should be the major focus for intervention is simplistic and should be loosely regarded. A comprehensive recognition of the pathophysiology of obesity among children (or adults) is deficient. The facts about the obesogenic surrounding as the major source of the obesity epidemic have been challenged recurrently (Park & Cormier, 2018). This difference between the progression of obesity in a person and such a progression at the population level is still puzzling (Hamilton et al., 2018; Kelly et al., 2019). This gap makes scientists who concentrate on population-founded preventive and interventional obesity reduction methods ignore the individual obese child preparing for comorbidities in times to come. 

Based on the intensive engagement between environment and genetics, a multidisciplinary team of healthcare practitioners must design tailored care plans to prevent and treat emergent premorbid and comorbid conditions. The team should, in reality, integrate the whole community in promoting and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. The careful focus should be made on multigenerational medical, social and, mental history, as well as a thorough evaluation of their physical and spiritual history (Kelly et al., 2019). The medical team should build a relationship with the patients and be keen on the existing family dynamics. The goal of the practitioners is to motivate the patients to adopt a radical lifestyle, which will only materialize by motivating and inspiring children in the context of the family or society in which they come. 

Through the findings, practitioners must be involved in educating parents and older children patients concerning comorbid and premorbid orders linked with obesity. Patients' perceptions of their vulnerability to obesity and other cardiovascular diseases are fundamental. They also need to be aware of the advantages and challenges to particular modalities of prevention activities.  

When healthcare practitioners are handling obese children, they need to have a comprehensive look at the family history to determine the existence of high-risk ethnicities. It is also significant to check anything traced on genes and endocrine disorders like Down's syndrome, hypothyroidism, and other cardiovascular diseases. Strong positive family history for diabetes calls for alarm that an obese child can quickly develop diabetes over time if due care is not regarded. The healthcare practitioners can also be keen on the probability of impending diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome that is if he discovers that the hyperinsulinism of the child cannot counter the exceedingly resilient insulin. The central nervous system is also a significant part of examining when performing a differential diagnosis of any motivating medical factor of obesity. 


Even though making a recommendation to adults and young people with obesity and other cardiovascular diseases to modify their lifestyles is always the first action for most healthcare practitioners, considering that approach on children is less likely. Identifying obesity in children as a disease and serious condition that needs to be deliberately addressed is more productive in enabling early prevention, diagnosis, and treatment modalities that are workable even in active clinical settings. Practitioners would rather not wait for the medical complications to be noted in the children by themselves or parents before they begin addressing issues of obesity. Endeavoring to know the possible sub-clinical indications of diseases usually existing in obese children could lead to earlier diagnosis and mediation instead of waiting for an explicit clinical illness or indication. Like any other medical state, the acuteness of the illness (either mild or acute obesity, existence or nonexistence of related indications) may be significant for the practitioners to decide as far as diagnosing the situation that needs intervention is concerned. Whereas many children that are obese may seem as though they are "healthy," those with acute stage of obesity are turning out to be increasing in number, and their related medical indications have intensified. Practitioners should advocate for quality health and early detection and intervention of these complications well in advice, besides creating awareness so that the children obesity cases can be reduced. Healthcare practitioners should be deliberate in recognizing that simplistic BMI cut-offs are not always the ultimate indication or the only thing to look for when diagnosing obesity-motivated conditions. Indeed, when the indications of obesity are discovered and addressed earlier enough, it prevents the occurrences of other opportunistic diseases. 


Auckburally, S., Davies, E., & Logue, J. (2021). The Use of Effective Language and Communication in the Management of Obesity: the Challenge for Healthcare Professionals.  Current obesity reports , 1-8. 

Cecchini, M. (2018). Use of healthcare services and expenditure in the US in 2025: The effect of obesity and morbid obesity.  PloS one 13 (11), e0206703. 

De Pooter, N. (2020). A healthier lifestyle for children with obesity and their parents: perceptions of healthcare professionals. 

Doherty, E., Queally, M., Cullinan, J., & Gillespie, P. (2017). The impact of childhood overweight and obesity on healthcare utilisation.  Economics & Human Biology 27 , 84-92. 

Hamilton, D., Dee, A., & Perry, I. J. (2018). The lifetime costs of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review.  Obesity Reviews 19 (4), 452-463. 

Kelly, B., West, J., Yang, T. C., Mason, D., Hasan, T., & Wright, J. (2019). The association between body mass index, primary healthcare use and morbidity in early childhood: findings from the Born In Bradford cohort study.  Public Health 167 , 21-27. 

Olm, M., Stark, R. G., Beck, N., Röger, C., & Leidl, R. (2020). Impact of interventions to reduce overnutrition on healthcare costs related to obesity and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review.  Nutrition reviews 78 (5), 412-435. 

Park, S. H., & Cormier, E. (2018). Influence of siblings on child health behaviors and obesity: a Systematic review. Journal of Child and Family Studies 27 (7), 2069-2081. 

Sanchez-Ramirez, D. C., Long, H., Mowat, S., & Hein, C. (2018). Obesity education for front-line healthcare providers.  BMC medical education 18 (1), 1-10. 

Siegel, R. M., Haemer, M., Kharofa, R. Y., Christison, A. L., Hampl, S. E., Tinajero-Deck, L., ... & Woolford, S. J. (2018). Community healthcare and technology to enhance communication in pediatric obesity care.  Childhood Obesity 14 (7), 453-460. 

Sjunnestrand, M., Nordin, K., Eli, K., Nowicka, P., & Ek, A. (2019). Planting a seed-child health care nurses’ perceptions of speaking to parents about overweight and obesity: a qualitative study within the STOP project.  BMC public health 19 (1), 1-11. 

Staiano, A. E., Marker, A. M., Liu, M., Hayden, E., Hsia, D. S., & Broyles, S. T. (2017). Childhood obesity screening and treatment practices of pediatric healthcare providers.  The Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society: official organ of the Louisiana State Medical Society 169 (1), 2. 

Tomiyama, A. J., Carr, D., Granberg, E. M., Major, B., Robinson, E., Sutin, A. R., & Brewis, A. (2018). How and why weight stigma drives the obesity ‘epidemic and harms health.  BMC medicine 16 (1), 1-6. 

Wong, M. S., Showell, N. N., Bleich, S. N., Gudzune, K. A., & Chan, K. S. (2017). The association between parent-reported provider communication quality and child obesity status: Variation by parent obesity and child race/ethnicity.  Patient education and counseling 100 (8), 1588-1597. 

Ziauddeen, N., Wilding, S., Roderick, P. J., Macklon, N. S., Smith, D., Chase, D., & Alwan, N. A. (2020). Predicting the risk of childhood overweight and obesity at 4–5 years using population-level pregnancy and early-life healthcare data.  BMC medicine 18 (1), 1-15. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Adequate Healthcare and Obesity in Children.


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