What are the consequences of childhood obesity?
According to research, studies have found that compared to healthy children and adolescents, children and adolescents who are obese have significant impairments in health related quality of life (HRQOL) in all domains, including physical and psychosocial functioning (e.g., emotional, social, and school). The CDC notes that some immediate health effects include: higher risk of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, diabetes, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea. Furthermore, long-term consequences of obesity may include type 2 diabetes, cancer (e.g., colon, breast, or prostate), osteoarthritis, or stroke.
Interventions and treatment of childhood obesity:
As a parent or caregiver, you can play a major role in improving childhood obesity. First Lady Michelle Obama has worked with organizations across the United States with her Let’s Move! initiative to expand access to nutritious foods and promote physical activity among children. To access more information about the Let’s Move! Campaign and how you can deal with the issue of childhood obesity, visit www.letsmove.gov
In my work as a psychologist and researcher, I have collaborated with others to examine the impact of obesity on children. We have found that psychologists can be a great resource to assist with changing healthy lifestyles and decreasing childhood obesity. The use of behavioral modification and behavior therapy can significantly improve health eating and physical activity. Limbers, Turner, and Varni (2008) discuss how behavior modification programs and motivational interviewing can target eating, exercise, and diet behaviors to result in significant improvements in weight status, increasing physical fitness, and psychosocial improvements for children who are obese children.
General resources to improve healthy eating and increase physical activity:
- Strategies for parents and communities
- Basic prevention tips
- Resources & Facts from the American Psychological Association
Note: Please contact Dr. Erlanger Turner for references.
© Copyright 2012 Erlanger A. Turner