Effects of Obesity on the Motor Development of Children

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Obesity in the United States has become an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), one out of every three people in the United States are now overweight or obese. Additionally, one out of every three children between the ages of 10 and 17 are not at a healthy weight (CDC, 2010). America is officially the fattest country in the world, topping Mexico and the United Kingdom by more than six percent of the population (CDC, 2010). These frightening statistics have many consequences for American citizens, especially the youth. This paper will explore the effects of childhood obesity on motor development, as well as ways in which motor development can be influenced to lower the obesity rate in children. It will also include a personal reflection about the topic.

Topic Overview

Motor development is the sequential, continuous age-related process whereby movement behavior changes (Payne & Isaacs, 2008). It can be divided into gross motor development, which specifically considers the development of movements made by larger muscle groups, and fine motor development, which includes more precise movements performed by small muscle groups (Payne & Isaacs, 2008). Additionally, motor development can be broken up into fundamental locomotor skills, including walking, running, and jumping, as well as object control skills such as catching, throwing, kicking, and punting. There are also several theories that surround motor development. For example, the maturational theory suggests the maturation of different body systems, most importantly the central nervous system, is the main force that drives motor development (Payne & Isaacs, 2008). This theory proposes that genetic inheritance is the most importa...

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