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Broward College Metabolic Syndrome Childhood Obesity Question

I’m working on a nutrition discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

As metabolic syndrome continues to ravage specific populations and accounts for one of the top ten reasons for death among minorities, childhood obesity also plays a critical role within the health of children, leading to unhealthy lifestyles and comorbidities as adults (Blake, 2020). Childhood obesity is the leading driver of the development of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease in children and can be minimized or prevented based on changes within a child’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, children can become overweight for several reasons, including genetics, but there are also reasons attributed to a lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns or a combination thereof. In rare instances it may also be caused by hormonal issues out of the control of children and their parents.

In my experience working in medical settings, unhealthy lifestyles can start with parents. Therefore, I often advocate for parents to development their own healthy eating habits, as children can learn these behaviors from them during their critical formative years. Parents who do not know healthy eating and do not regularly exercise as more likely to affect the perceptions of children, who learn eating habits directly from them very early in life (American Heart Association, 2015). When a child does not see his or her parents exercise regularly or eat heathier foods, children are destined to continue these same habits, and develop medical issues such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, which leads to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease very early in life. Unfortunately, by the time young children can realize healthier standards of eating and exercise, diabetes and heart disease may have already developed, starting a terrible cycle that children will often pass down to their own children later in life.

For this reason, I advocate for nutritional education for parents when they seek guidance regarding their children’s health and medical issues, and I like to involve children in this education as well. During health fairs and workshops, I encourage both parents and children to sit down and enjoy activities that highlight what healthy eating is and how to plan for physical activity within their schedules when best possible. Medical and nutritional professionals are present to discuss eating less sweets, processed foods, and sugary carbonated soft-drinks, and to instead choose healthier options like fruits and water (Agurs-Collins, 2019). Instead of spending hours watching television or playing electronic games, children can instead be encouraged to participate in outside activities like bicycling or playing sports with other children.

For instance, healthy eating workshops use props and audience participation to show what foods are most healthy and illustrates proper portion control of proteins, starches, fruits, and vegetables. Workshop trainers use simulated food props and dinner plates to show what foods are best and to show how much of each of the food groups should be eaten daily and in what servings. The children often stay very interested, as the simulation are colorful and look like board games. Children are encouraged to take part in a colorful activity that makes learning about healthy eating and exercise fun and keeps them interested to employ these standards within their everyday lives, to avoid obesity leading to diabetes and morbid health concerns in their lifestyles.

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