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In What Way Has Modern Day Living Contributed To Obesity In Young Children

INTRODUCTION

The aim of this research is to understand ‘In what way has Modern Day Living Contributed to Obesity in young children?’ Obesity is a major problem within the UK in regards to both adults and children. Carter (2002) stated that as many as ‘one in 10 children in Britain aged under four is obese.’ As a Early Years Professional the researcher feels that childhood obesity is therefore a major issue and feels that the information will be used to provide an insight into possible explanations as to why has modern day living contributed to obesity in young children. This paper will therefore focus on three aspects, Risk, Family life and Food. The research will therefore aim to cover a wide range of past and present information surrounding obesity which would be useful for parents to explore their family lives and question if they are doing everything they can to prevent obesity amongst their children so they will be less likely to become obese adults. Many authors focusing on obesity identify that prevention is far more beneficial than treatment. Health promotion strategies are therefore key at reducing the growth rates of obesity. Lister (2005) indicates that the role of early life environment plays a major role in the later risk of obesity. Both parents and early year’s professionals are therefore significant at providing children with the appropriate role models to ensure a healthy diet and lifestyle is paramount from the beginning.

Promotion strategies currently in place will be evaluated for their effectiveness. By gaining such information it is believed that beneficial promotion strategies can be identified that can focus on targeting the major causes. This paper will therefore aim at benefiting early years professionals as will provide suggested ways in which they can provide children with a ideal role model and appropriate education in regards to diet and lifestyle.

Not sure if Literature review should be in here as its library base Dissertation, do I take the heading out and use on the end of Induction!!

LITERATURE REVIEW

As childhood obesity is high on the public agenda there has been a large amount of literature produced surrounding obesity. This includes explanations into why the growth has occurred and discussions involving the many consequences including those on health of being obese. There are many different opinions into the causes of the obesity growth; explanations include a non-physical lifestyle and changes in dietary and eating routines. Wilson et al (2003) A study carried out by Kopleman and Grace (2004) found that obesity causes a number of health problems including diabetes, heart disease… Frean (2005) believes that in order to combat obesity it is important that snack and fast-food companies are restricted as to when they can advertise.’ This is to try and limit children’s viewings of such adverts meaning they do not wish for their parents/carers to purchase the unhealthy food items.

A child’s diet is therefore a important factor into the level of obesity. ‘Healthy eating starts at home and it is up to carers to teach their children the good, the bad and the downright dreadful.’ (Get Set). The literature surrounding obesity also includes identifying whether it is diet or physical exercise that has the highest impact on childhood obesity. It has been clearly identified that there are differing opinions surrounding this. Goveas (2004) suggests that initiatives that encourage children to have a healthier eating pattern rather than looking in to the level of physical exercise are more beneficial at combating childhood obesity. However, Robbins et al (2004) suggests that scientific evidence indicates that the level of physical exercise can have a significant effect on a person’s health. Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson Taylor (2004) suggests that children should take a minimum of an hour’s moderate physical exercise each day. Although this is the recommended daily amount, the current literature clearly shows that many children do not receive any where near the recommended daily amount. There are many explanations as to why children lack physical exercise. These include a increase in TV and computer game viewing, parents scared to let their children play outside and the increased use of cars to carry out everyday tasks such as getting to school rather than walking. Kopleman and Grace (2004) as there is such a wide range of literature, many of the articles have differing opinions. It is therefore hard to distinguish what articles hold correct information. Although many articles believe either diet or physical exercise to have a serious impact on health, many suggest that it is important that both are combated in order to target childhood obesity.

AIM:

The main aim of this research is to understand ‘In what way has Modern Day Living Contributed to Obesity in young children?’ Objectives being identify relevant and current research on three aspects.

Risk

The dangers of modern day life and childrens physical activity. E.G. travelling to school by car, loss of playing fields and park space. New build housing with minimum garden space. Stranger danger

Family Life

Working parents, single parents, living in high rise flats no outdoor garden, eating together as a family, cooking skills for single parent, parental responsibility to eat healthy, nature nurture. Considering how eating habits are established in the home and through the family.

Food

Disadvantaged families in rural areas not being able to access local supermarkets, changing eating patterns, changes in food marketing/advertising and more availability of convenience foods that are high in fat and sugar.

CHAPTER ONE: Risk

This Chapter will focus on identifying some of the factors that can be related to the causes of obesity. The dangers of modern day life and children’s physical activity for example travelling to school by car, loss of playing fields and parking space. Stranger danger amongst children will also be discussed.

According to British Nutrition Foundation (2005) many people have a low level of activity because of using a car rather then walking for short journeys. British Nutrition Foundation goes on to say by walking or cycling instead of using a car, going to the gym and taking part in team sports can help a person maintain a healthy body weight by increasing energy expenditure. British Nutrition Foundation (2005) believes lack of activity is an important factor in the increasing prevalence of obesity.

Many people in countries such as the UK have very interactive lifestyles; few people have physically active jobs or do significant amounts of exercise in their free time. Any form of activity or exercise that is enjoyed should be encouraged. Being physically active is important not just in the prevention of overweight and obesity, but also to prevent diseases such as diabetes. Aucott et al (2004) indicate the risk of developing diabetes being reduced by weight loss was shown in seven studies. Obesity is a condition in which abnormal or excessive fat accumulates in adipose tissue, thus impairing ones health. Wilson et al (2003) argues that estimates or real figures related to obesity may often differ.

An epidemic of childhood obesity has occurred in recent years, it is felt that evidence on risk factors childhood obesity is limited at present, recognised risk factors such as schooling lack of outdoor space. O Brien (2001) indicated in the press a mobile class room have been built on the grounds and there is no where big enough for the children to play safe. Having no access to the local playing field the children will have to play on the road outside the school. Therefore the children are having exercise but not in a safe environment. Johnson (2005) goes on to say that the nation shares a collective responsibility in rectifying the childhood obesity and to focus on the prevention effects that should involve the communities that affect the daily lives of the children. Furthermore, a particular focus must be placed on low-income, high-risk communities where obesity rates are highest due to factors such as lack of progress in preventing childhood obesity. TALK LOW INCOME FAMILIES…..

Stranger Danger is another area of concern ‘is it safe to play’ now an alarming new survey from the children’s society, also the children play council reveals just how unhealthy the next generation has become Hoyle (2005). The children’s society and the children’s play council recently found that one in five children play outside for less than an hour a week. Meanwhile, government figures show that one in four children under 11 is overweight and one in seven is obese Knight (2005). The poll of 670 children, which was revealed shows 40 per cent don’t go out as much as they would like and 20 per cent admit they spend less than an hour a week outdoors. parents can make a difference Press Association (2003) believes that parents can show their children an active approach by changing the whole family’s approach to diet and physical activities by trying to avoid the children becoming couch potatoes. Dobson et al (2005) indicates ‘there is a clear link between television watching and obesity’. Children are more then happy to stay in than to go outside due to computer games and the television Reilly et al (2005) states television viewing may confer risk through a reduction in energy expenditure because watching television is associated with dietary intake, or because of energy balance by uncoupling food intake from energy expenditure. Dobson et al (2005) goes on to say that a study of 11,000 children, thought to be the largest of its kind conducted in Britain, has found that the risk of adult obesity increases by 7% for every additional hour of weekend television watched by five-year-olds. Viner (2005) also indicates weekend TV viewing in early childhood continues to influence BMI in adulthood. Morris (1995) indicates television viewing has fallen for sometime in middle aged people, from 27.56 hours weekly in 1986 to 26.24 in 1993. …BMI REFERENCE…..Interventions to influence obesity by reducing sedentary behaviours must begin in early childhood. Interventions focusing on weekend TV viewing may be particularly effective. Morris (1995) states the main concern here is not the long established low levels of physical activity in the population but the situation in recent years, during the dynamic phase of weight gain, ‘1980-91.

A lot more needs to be done by parents to protect children from harm, many schools have already started to encourage healthy eating by banning sweets and crisps in lunch box’s and giving lessons on nutrition and diet. Reilly et al (2005) believes in the entire cohort, birth weight, parental obesity, sleep duration, and television viewing remained independently associated with the risk of obesity. Timesonline (2005) indicates having either one or two parents obese can also be a risk factor; the new study supports the notion that aspects of a child’s early development influence their weight in later life. The latest figures on childhood obesity from 2001 show 8.5% of British six-year-olds are obese, rising to 15% of 15-year-olds. About 30,000 people die every year as a result of being obese, according to NHS estimates. Obesity costs the NHS around �2.6bn per year – and this figure is expected to rise to �3.6bn by 2010. REFERENCE

New build housing with minimum garden space.

CHAPTER TWO: Family Life

Working parents, single parents, living in high rise flats no outdoor garden, eating together as a family, cooking skills for single parent, parental responsibility to eat healthy, nature nurture. Considering how eating habits are established in the home and through the family.

CHAPTER THREE: Food

Disadvantaged families in rural areas not being able to access local supermarkets, changing eating patterns, changes in food marketing/advertising and more availability of convenience foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Dietry patterens, look at red folder under risk

CONCLUSION:

This paper has endeavoured to portray the complexities of childhood obesity through discussion of both individual and structural factors relating to physical exercise, family life and food.

CRITICAL REVIEW:

It is also suggested that over reading when doing a literary research project may often result in the author becoming lost, on reflection, it is noted by the researcher that this did happen and by having a lot of material it became difficult to stay focused on the original aim.

REFERENCES

Aucott, A, and A Poobalan, W.C.S, Smith, A, Avenell, R. Jung, J, Broom, A M Grant (2004) ‘Weight loss in obese diabetic and on-diabetic individuals and long-term diabetes outcomes – a systematic review Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism’ Vol 6 85-94 March [online] http://blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.111/j.1462-8902.2004.00315.x (accessed 1st March 2008)

British Nutrition Foundation (2005) ‘The role of physical activity’ [online]

http://nutrition.org.uk/home.asp?siteId=43&sectionId=408&subSectionId=321. (accessed 1st March 2008)

Carter, H (2002) Have a banana Guardian [online] http://education.quardian.co.uk/egweekly/story.html (accessed 22nd May 2006)

Dobson, R and L Rogers (2005) ‘Early years vital for curbing obesity’ Times [online] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8126-1619544,00.html (accessed 20th Feb 2008)