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Childhood Obesity

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Childhood Obesity

Introduction

The past several decades have seen an escalating trend in the rate of childhood obesity not only in the United States where 25%-30% of children are affected, but also in many of the industrialized nations. Childhood obesity has continued to be a major issue in the public health care system. The economic cost of the medical expenses as well as the lost income resulting from the complications of obesity both in children and adults has been estimated at almost $100 billion (Barnes, 2011). Overweight children are more predisposed to the danger of becoming overweight in their adulthood unless they ensure healthier eating habits and exercise. It is worth noting that the current lifestyle in which many children spend a lot of time watching television as well as the consumption of sugary and fatty foods has significantly contributed to the high prevalence of childhood obesity.

Regarding the causes of childhood obesity, several theories of etiology including genetic, developmental, and environmental, have been proposed. Despite the prevalence of childhood obesity rising dramatically over the past 3 or 4 decades, major challenges still face the fight against the condition due to its underdiagnosis and undertreatment. It is worth noting that with careful physical examination and evaluation of disease history, unnecessary diagnostic procedures and the need for expensive equipment can be avoided. Given the rising concern about childhood obesity, this paper will discuss several issues. These include the history, epidemiology, etiology, course and prognosis onset, and how the disorder is represented in the DSM IV TR with its associated features.

History of childhood obesity

The health risks associated with ob...

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... and substance abuse in the DSM-IV. Therefore, some people have strongly suggested that childhood obesity be regarded as a food addiction which has a psychological origin and thus deserves to be fully represented in the DSM-IV TR (O’Brien & Volkow, 2007).

It is also vital to note that despite the increasing association between obesity and mental health, this relationship has been inconsistently confirmed in literature. For instance, researchers have established that as a child grows to yound adulthood, the prevalence of obesity and depression increases. Certain prospective studies and a significant number of cross sectional studies have alluded to the link between obesity and depression. However, a precise summary of the links between the two conditions is unavailable in literature (Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences Management & Yagnik, 2009, p. 4).
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