Human development and childhood obesity

Human Development and Childhood Obesity

A mother is responsible for the growth and development of her children, therefore barriers to the proper growth and development of one’s child usually causes frustration for the parent. For Wanda, the mother of a thirteen year old adopted overweight daughter, it can indeed cause much stress.

            It is common for many individuals to become overweight. The discrepancy between the calories consumed and the amount of physical activity one participates in daily life is typically the cause of this condition. Being overweight causes not only physical problems but it can cause many social, emotional, and psychological problems as well (Adams et. al, 765, 2006). Overweight individuals may experience social discrimination. For example, an overweight person may have a harder time finding a job or a mate.

            Genetic and environmental factors contribute to the weight of an individual. Genetics plays a huge role in determining the body type of a person. Some individuals are more genetically predisposed to becoming overweight whilst some are more predisposed to being underweight. The environment in which a person lives also greatly affects the weight of the person. Lifestyle choices spring from the environment in which one thrives. For example, if a child lives in a home where the cupboards are filled with junk and instant food and video gaming is the only play activity available the child might be then more inclined to make unhealthy food choices and lead a more sedentary lifestyle.

            Wanda should learn the cause of her child’s weight issues and the factors that contribute to her child being overweight. Since Wanda’s child is adopted, she should try to research on the medical history of her daughter’s birth parents and relatives to see whether her child is genetically predisposed to weight gain or obesity. Then Wanda could check her child’s environment and observe her daughter’s behavior at home, at school, and at play. Another thing that Wanda could do is to try and determine whether healthy eating options and physical activities are readily available and accessible to her daughter.

            Once Wanda determines the causes that affect her child being overweight then it would be easier to see possible solutions to the problem. For example, if Wanda finds out that her child is genetically predisposed to weight gain then she and her daughter could work with a physician on how to combat being overweight. If the environment is found to be the cause of her daughter becoming overweight, then Wanda could try to change things in her daughter’s environment that would help her daughter lose weight. One such change could be providing an interactive physical gaming console for her daughter at home, such as the Wii Fit, to encourage her daughter to exercise which can contribute to weight loss and a more physically active lifestyle.

Human Development 3


Adams Ph.D., K. F., Harris M.D., T. B., and Shcatzkin M.D., A. (2006) New England Medical

        Journal, 355, 763-788.

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