Childhood obesity is steadily growing to be one of the significant public health issues in the 21st century in most parts of the world. This global problem is common in the urban settings of both low and high-income countries. According to a survey done in 2016, the number of children diagnosed with obesity under the age of five was estimated to be over 41 million (“Childhood overweight and obesity,” n.d.). This problem has reached epidemic levels in both developed and developing countries, hence bringing more concerns on how it can be stopped with the high number of causatives that rise every day. The condition is known to have a significant impact on both the psychological and physical health of the victims, which need to be alleviated in the best ways possible(Eriksson, Forsén, Tuomilehto, Osmond & Barker, 2001). It can profoundlylead to effects on the child’ssocial and emotional wellbeing in the futureor when they have grown up. This paper will, therefore, look into this issue and analyze the effects it has on adulthood.
Childhood obesity is a dangerous condition that has the potential of causing severe health issues in both childhood and adulthood. In extreme cases, these conditions could lead to death. There are so many diseases, which are associated with obesity. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and cardiac-related ailments(Mahmood, 2015). Research has shown that childhood obesity is the leading cause of adulthood heart diseases such as heart attack, hypertension, and many others. It has revealed that a higher percentage of adults suffering from heart conditions were obese in childhood (Biro & Wien, 2010). This condition has also been associated with increased chances of disability and premature deaths when one attains adult age. These children have more likelihood of staying obese even at their adult age. Therefore, this might lead to the development of incommunicable diseases. The significant effects of childhood obesity are not often realized until the kid reaches the adult age. At this stage, they will suffer from cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and certain types of cancer (“WHO | Why does childhood overweight and obesity matter?”, n.d.). Therefore, it is argued that there is a need to stop this endemic since its damage is irreparable in most instances.
Childhood obesity can also have devastating effects on a person’s quality of life and mental health. Aside from the many reported physical health issues associated with obesity, there are also several mental and emotional issues that accompany this condition. When a child is obese, there are high chances that they will also turn out to be obese in adulthood. Research has, therefore, shown that children that have had a difficult childhood while struggling with obesity are more likely to suffer from depression in adulthood. They are also more likely to be affected by low self-esteem. Many obese children suffer from mental problems when they are young. Most of them are reported to face bullying in schools and body shaming from their peers. This majorly weighs down on their mental health, and most of them retract to having low self-esteemwhich lasts to adulthood (King, 2008). As these children grow older, they try several measures to cut their weight(“Consequences of Obesity | Tampa General Hospital,” 2019). If their efforts do not bear fruits, most of them fall into depression, and in extreme cases, there have been reports of suicide attempts.
Obesity has also been reported to harm the reproductive health of a person. When a child grows to a reproductive age while still obese, there are effects that the condition may have in their reproduction. When a woman who has reached reproductive age is overweight, the secretion of gonadotropin is affected due to the increase in the aromatization of estrogens and androgens(Ozcan Dag & Dilbaz, 2015). The resistance of insulin and the hyperinsulinemia in these women can cause hyperandrogenemia. The growth hormone, the hormone binding globulin, and the growth factor binding proteins are then decreased while, at the same time, the levels of leptons are amplified. Therefore, there is the deterioration of the neuro-regulation of the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis (Ozcan Dag & Dilbaz, 2015). All these alterations, thus, explain the reasons as to why obese women have a low sexual desire and impaired ovulation.
In a nutshell, this paper has, therefore, gone through several effects of childhood obesity on adult life. It has shown that obesity at a tender age has profoundly devastating effects on one’s life at an adult age. When children are obese, they have an extraordinary likelihood of developing non-communicable diseases. These diseases include diabetes and hypertension. These are conditions that will ultimately affect the child’s adult life. Mental health problems have also been associated with this condition where one may be prone to depression and low self-esteem issues caused by this problem. There are also suicide cases that have been associated with this condition. Children with obesity and especially girls have been reported to have reproductive health problems at adult age. It is, thus, prudent that the necessary measures should be taken to mitigate this problem.
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Biro, F., & Wien, M. (2010). Childhood obesity and adult morbidities. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 91(5), 1499S-1505S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.28701b
Childhood overweight and obesity. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/
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Eriksson, J., Forsén, T., Tuomilehto, J., Osmond, C., & Barker, D. (2001). Size at birth, childhood growth and obesity in adult life. International Journal Of Obesity, 25(5), 735-740. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0801602
King, L. A. (2008). The science of psychology: An appreciative view. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Mahmood, L. (2015). The childhood obesity epidemic: A mini review. International Journal Of Medicine And Public Health, 5(1), 6. doi: 10.4103/2230-8598.151234
Ozcan Dag, Z., & Dilbaz, B. (2015). Impact of obesity on infertility in women. Journal Of The Turkish German Gynecological Association, 16(2), 111-117. doi: 10.5152/jtgga.2015.15232
WHO | Why does childhood overweight and obesity matter?. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood_consequences/en/
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