Obesity: An Ongoing Battle

by ssmit16 on November 3, 2013 - 4:52pm

In recent years, obesity has been a mounting problem in numerous countries throughout the world.  Obesity has reached epidemic levels in developed countries and is becoming a mounting problem in developing countries.  The majority of researchers would agree that the most important strategy in controlling obesity is prevention.  According to Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, and Merchant, authors of the recent article, Childhood Obesity, Prevalence and Prevention, attempts at “changing the behaviour of individuals in diet and exercise” has made little successful impact on the growing obesity problem (Dehghan, et. al.).  Further, about half of all adults are either overweight or obese in many countries today, and studies have shown that it is more difficult to reduce excess bodyweight once it has been put on as opposed to preventing the weight gain entirely.  For this reason, children are now being targeted as the “priority population” for prevention and intervention measures (Dehghan, et. al.).  Research shows that particular prevention and intervention strategies are more effective than others; for example, emphasizing a decrease in sedentary activities while encouraging free active play has been more successful in preventing overweight children from gaining additional weight than forcing structured exercise or reducing caloric intake.  Likewise, making parents aware of their child’s health and fitness status through school report cards is another strategy which has been demonstrated to be effective.  These parents were shown to be twice as likely to acknowledge healthy activities that would help in controlling their child’s weight.  Overall, these authors suggest that the need for prevention and treatment of obesity in children is a very pressing issue that we, as societies, must address.

 Dehghan, Akhtar-Danesh, and Merchant’s article deals with an issue in today’s society that we simply cannot ignore.  Their research collection and presentation is helpful in the way that it all leads somewhere; the different implications and consequences of the matters are discussed.  Evidence, for example the likelihood of a parent to take a certain action regarding their child’s health under a certain condition, is presented in a logical way that leads to an understanding of the positive and negative implications of the issue.  The authors leave their audience with a very honest but somewhat disappointing conclusion, that although we know that prevention and treatment of obesity are absolutely necessary, additional research should be performed in order to determine the most effective strategies for doing so.  These most effective strategies can and should be “culture specific, ethnical, and consider the socio-economical aspects of the targeting population” (Dehghan, et. al.).  It is important for us as a society acknowledge that we really have yet to find the most successful ways of preventing and treating our obesity epidemic, which stresses the importance of containing determination and dedication to making strides toward determining how to decrease and eventually eliminate obesity.     





Dehghan, M., Akhtar-Danesh, N., & Merchant, A. T. (2012). CHILDHOOD OBESITY, PREVALENCE AND PREVENTION. African Journal Of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition & Development, 12(2), 1-16.


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