Essay on Overweight and Obesity in Pre-School Children: A Comparison of the Case of Halton and a 1990 Study

Published: 2021/11/17
Number of words: 775


Obesity/overweight is a significant public health danger. Previous studies suggest that it is possible obesity begins during childhood. However, not much data on obesity among preschool children exists. Obesity among preschool children is an important issue because a reduction of obesity among preschool children can help to deal with obesity among adults. The purpose of this paper is to show that obesity begins at an early age. This paper also shows that obesity among preschool children varies between different places and is associated with risk factors such as breastfeeding, weaning, physical inactivity, and the consumption of different foods.

Summary Of Article

The study by (1)Perry et al. (2015) sought to examine the (over)weight patterns of preschool children of Halton, Northwest England, aged between 0-40 months and compare the results to a previous study done in 1990.

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16,381 singleton births were examined from January 1994 – 31st December 2006. Generally, Halton is an underprivileged area with a lower rate of employment compared to the national rate of employment. Data in this study was recorded four times; at birth, 0, 2, 8, and 40 months. Standard deviations from the data collected were then analyzed through poison distribution.

Results from this study indicate that Halton infants were generally heavier than weight recorded in the reference population. Also, weights and each point except birth kept increasing year after year. Although the existence of obesity in preschool children was already known and recorded, this study adds data from 16,381 subjects and the unique disappearance of obesity at two months to reappear at eight months to the existing information. Another significant contribution of this study is that it shows evidence that obesity begins in childhood. Factors such as breastfeeding, weaning, physical inactivity and consumption of first foods lead to early obesity.

Some of the limitations of the study include the accuracy in weight measurements and the fact that localized sample may not mean universal findings. The study ends with an urge for more studies on the association between obesity and weaning.



(1)Perry et al. (2015) argue that obesity or overweight begins to develop very early during childhood. (1)Perry et al. (2015) also argue that obesity in preschool children develops following certain trends. For example, in investigating obesity in preschool children in Halton, Northwest England, (1)Perry et al. (2015) found that excess weight since birth disappears at 2 months of age and reappears at 8 months. However, (1)Perry et al.’s proposition that obesity begins during childhos is contested by other scholars. For instance, (2)Martorell et al. (2000), while investigating the levels and trend of obesity among preschool children in developing countries, argue that obesity among preschool children happensdifferently in different parts of the world and cannot be generalized. (2)Martorell et al. (2000) found that obesity among preschool children was not common in places like Asia and SubSaharan Africa, but it was common in places like the Carribean, the Middle East and North Africa, and the United States.

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(1)Perry et al. (2015) claim that factors such as breastfeeding, weaning, physical inactivity and consumption of first foods are risk factors for the development of obesity among preschool children. This claim is similar to findings by (3)Dev et al. who claim that parental restrictive feeding practices are a keen focus area for the prevention of obesity. (3)Dev et al. argue that aspects such as breastfeeding, weaning, and generally food consumption of preschool children affect whether or not they become obese and should be considered when coming up with strategies to deal with obesity among preschool children.


Obesity begins to develop at an early age, as suggested by evidence of obesity among preschool children. However, obesity among preschool children varies in different areas. For instance, obesity among preschool children is an issue in the US but not common in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. Factores such as breastfeeding, inactivity and consumption of fast foods affect obesity among preschool children. In order to get more data on obesity among preschool children, it is important to do further research.


  1. Perry C, Thurston MN, Arch BN. Exploring overweight and obesity in pre-school children using routinely collected data: a case study of Halton, Northwest England. Journal of Public Health. 2016 Sep 1;38(3):e240-6.
  2. Martorell R, Khan LK, Hughes ML, Grummer-Strawn LM. Overweight and obesity in preschool children from developing countries. International journal of obesity. 2000 Aug;24(8):959.
  3. Dev DA, McBride BA, Fiese BH, Jones BL, Cho, on behalf of the STRONG Kids Research Team H. Risk factors for overweight/obesity in preschool children: an ecological approach. Childhood obesity. 2013 Oct 1;9(5):399-408.

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