Synopsis of Baby Steps in the prevention of Childhood obesity
Can add to intro? :
Childhood obesity rates are rising quickly and pose a major risk factor for comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and the early development of type II Diabetes in children. Parents are the primary role model for children being that children are more likely to follow their parent’s eating behaviors. Parents are also responsible for creating the environment of food the children are surrounded by when choosing the types of food that are available in the home. However, parents may lack the knowledge about health and obesity and physical activity recommendations and are contributing causes that may lead to obesity in childhood. Several studies have shown a link with children who spend a lot of time watching television or playing video games and obesity.
Synopsis of Baby Steps in the prevention of Childhood obesity; IOM guidelines for Pediatric Practice
Studies have been done which show a positive correlation between infants with excess weight gain during infancy and later childhood obesity. Due to the obesity epidemic in children, the Institute of Medicine, 2011, has created guidelines to prevent childhood obesity. The IOM infancy-related guidelines focus on infant growth monitoring, sleep, physical activity, and healthy feeding. In order to prevent infant excess weight gain the IOM has created measurement tools which are used in clinical assessments to help identify parents/caregivers who practice non-responsive infant feeding styles. Studies have shown that mothers believe that feeding their fussy baby will help soothe him/her. Interventions such as education for parents/caregivers on identifying infant behaviors of satiety have helped parents differentiate these from other causes such as anger, boredom, or a soiled diaper. Intervention techniques include providing content on soothing/calming techniques that comforted the infant without being fed. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding until at least 6 months of age and the delayed introduction of solid foods after the age of six months led to lower weight to length ratios. The IOM (2011) guidelines call for increased physical activity of infants in order to prevent childhood obesity which in turn also leads to gross motor developmental delays.
Parental Knowledge and Attitudes: might need to add more about intervention programs ?
Parents may lack the knowledge about health and obesity and physical activity recommendations and are contributing causes that may lead to obesity in childhood. Several studies have shown a link with children who spend a lot of time watching television or playing video games and obesity. Majority of the parents in this study seemed unsure of correct physical activity recommendations for children. This study has shown that majority of the parents in the study performed do not know the meaning of overweight and obesity and may not consider their overweight or obese child to be so. Only 6% of the 40% percent of the children who were overweight or obese in this study were actually diagnosed by a doctor. The study done also has shown that parents with a higher BMI score had a child with a higher weight percentile, showing that obesity runs in the family. Parents play a primary role model for children being that children are more likely to follow their parent’s eating behaviors. Parents are also responsible for creating the environment of food the children are surrounded by when choosing the types of food that are available in the home. Approximately 46% of the parents in the study stated they buy a fast food meal for their children at least once per week. This study also revealed that majority of the parents/caregivers lack the knowledge of correct portion sizes. Majority of the parents in the study stated they either did not know how to govern appropriate portion sizes or simply judge by how much they think their child might eat.
This study revealed that parents face many barriers to help prevent obesity in their children. Many parents revealed the cost of healthy foods, parents’ busy schedules, and finding time to prepare healthy meals are major barriers faced. In order to implement a childhood obesity prevention program, it is important to consider the barriers and help parents find ways to implement healthy eating and exercise habits. It is important to educate families about the specifics of healthy eating, correct serving and portion sizes, what is considered physical activity and the recommended amount, and how to recognize when your child is overweight or obese. Educational handouts can be given out at pre-schools, schools and medical clinics.