Essay on Obesity in Children

Published: 2021/11/17
Number of words: 1411

Children are at a higher risk of suffering from obese conditions compared to the general population. This paper analyses the different causes of overweight conditions put suggested by researchers from their findings on the issue. It gives a summary of the article “Childhood obesity in transition zones: an analysis using structuration theory” by Chan, Deave, and Greenhalgh (2010). There a definition title of the article and stating their main findings. The paper also attempts to explain how obesity can be controlled and minimized. The role of early childhood professionals in managing this condition is also highlighted.

Obesity in Children

Obesity is a health condition in which a patient gains excess and abnormal weight. It is a condition that is most prevalent in children. Constant consumption of carbohydrates and failure to do regular physical exercises are the leading causes of obesity. Research conducted by various scholars has revealed that modernization and changes in food systems have made a significant contribution towards the rise of cases of obesity.

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Definition of the Topic

The article, “Childhood obesity in transition zones: An analysis using structuration theory” offers a potentially transferable approach for studying the emergence of childhood obesity in the areas that have experienced rapid growth of urban centers (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Transition zones are parts of the world that have undergone a series of economic growth, cultural development and a significant transformation of food systems (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). The relationship between the general population and the personal-level causes of obesity forms the structuration theory.

Population of the Study

The study sought to explain how modernization has contributed to childhood obesity in the society. It was conducted in Hong Kong City, China (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Researchers undertook a case study of ten children. Six of them were obese, while the remaining four were non-overweight (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010).

Demographics of the Participants

All these children were drawn from Chinese families, and their average age was between two to six years (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Included in the study also were the parents of the children, their caregivers, and the preschool teachers. To obtain comprehensive results, the researchers considered the diversity of their socio-economic statuses by concentrating on international schools for the affluent and government subsidized schools for the poor (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010).

Findings of the Researchers

Researchers found out that most of the children in Hong Kong rarely ate at home (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Upon making inquiries, it was established that both the parents and children were always on a hectic schedule of appointments (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Besides, no nutritional or social value was ever accorded to the meals. In an attempt to understand why children do not eat at home, researchers found out that there were limited family accommodation and cooking facilities (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010).

In the case where there were sufficient family accommodation and cooking facilities, the respondents gave the need for the children to go to school and other outside activities as reasons for not eating at home. Observations revealed that in cases where meals were prepared at home, cultural and ritual meanings were never emphasized (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Whenever children were at home, they spent most of their time watching television and playing video games. It was noted that structured plays for children were never considered as social practice (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Few children were reported to have visited their peers’ families to engage them in physical games and exercises.

Relationship of the Article with the Topics Discussed

The article restates the ideas that were discussed in Child Development 10. From what was considered in the topics under Children Development 10, the article adds that among the major problems associated with poor eating habits is obesity (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). It goes on to expound the significant ways to control this condition.

The contents that were analyzed in Childhood development 10 are expounded on in the article. It also outlines the various precautions that need to be taken during feeding and after feeding among the children (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). In addition, the main ideas shared in both cases are similar in many aspects. They include avoiding starchy foods, making children engage in physical activities, and limiting sleeping time (Marotz, 2012). The kind of activities that the preschool infants should be involved in for them to grow up while maintaining healthy weight limits is candidly described in both instances.

The contents discussed in Child Development 10 and the information shared in the articles seeks to explain the role of the parents, teachers, and caretakers in minimizing obesity cases. In both cases, parents are advised to be at the forefront in fighting obesity (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010; Marotz, 2012). Teachers are also encouraged to supervise children to make sure that they are actively involved in physical exercises. Rather than eating just for the sake of it, it is recommended in both cases that nutritional value of the food should be highly considered (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010; Marotz, 2012).

Lessons from the Article

The article is aimed at creating awareness on the causes of obesity. Through the article, it can be observed that modernization has contributed considerably to the prevalence of obesity among children. Parents, teachers, and caretakers have a significant role to play in preventing obesity among children (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010; Marotz, 2012). It is the role of the teachers to introduce physical activities in the school curriculum and make sure that every child participates in them.

For professionals in early childhood development, the article plays a significant role in offering a great insight into the major causes of obesity. If the causes are known, then they can be contained using the appropriate procedures. Most of the times, the parents of the obese child seek the guidance of professionals.

According to the summarized article, the professor needs to advise the clients on the type of food that they need to avoid (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). The early childhood education profession has to notify the potential victims of obesity on the appropriate methods to stay safe from such a condition (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). Among the many methods cited in the article are avoiding sweet beverages, sugary foods, and too much inactivity.

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Parents need to pay much attention to their children to control how they use their free time (Händel et al., 2017). In Hong Kong, for instance, it was noted that most children just eat for the sake of it and spend almost their entire childhood watching television and playing video games (Chan, Deave & Greenhalgh, 2010). For this reason, the professor has an obligation to offer advice to the parents on how to plan schedules for their young ones, in a way that will limit their free time.


As highlighted above, children living in transition zones are at a higher risk of developing an obese condition. This raises the need for people living in such places to study the relationship between the general population and the personal level causes of obesity. Based on the information from specific the sources explored, the leading causes of obesity noted include over-consumption of starchy foods and a failure to participate in co-curricular activities. Teachers, parents, and caretakers play a significant role in minimizing and controlling obesity among children. To ascertain the role of parents in reducing the cases of obesity, it is essential to obtain relevant information from different journals and books. Integrating this information is necessary as it offers the best use of knowledge on obesity. This creates awareness among professionals on how to handle cases of obesity among children. The early childhood profession calls for competent ways of curbing obese conditions which include planning training programs for teachers and parents on the appropriate methods of dealing with obesity.


Chan, C., Deave, T., & Greenhalgh, T. (2010). Childhood obesity in transition zones: An analysis using structuration theory. Sociology of Health & Illness32(5), 711-729.

Händel, M. N., Larsen, S. C., Rohde, J. F., Stougaard, M., Olsen, N. J., & Heitmann, B. L. (2017). Effects of the healthy start randomized intervention trial on physical activity among normal weight preschool children predisposed to overweight and obesity. PloS one12(10), e0185266.

Marotz, L. (2012). Health, safety, and nutrition for the young child. Australia: Thomson Delmar Learning.

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