Research Literature Review: Picot Question on Child Obesity Intervention
Picot Question on Child Obesity Intervention
PICOT question: For children aged between 7 and 14 years (P), does parental lifestyle choice (I) increase obesity instances (O) compared to nutrition education offered in schools (C).
According to Pratt & Skelton (2018), childhood obesity is a common problem in developing and developed countries. It impacts the psychological and physical health of the child. Childhood obesity affects the child’s self-esteem, academic performance, and social and emotional well-being (Williams et al., 2018). Children who are overweight are likely to stay obese even in adulthood and develop other diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes at a younger age.
According to Bohnert et al. (2020), multiple factors contribute to obesity in children, most of which are not directly related to one given factor. Lifestyle preferences and environmental and cultural factors all contribute to the development of obesity in children across the globe (Gray et al., 2018).
In general, a prevalent belief is that being obese and overweight is a result of fat and caloric intake. Other studies show obesity due to excessive intake of sugar through soft drinks, a decline in physical activities, and increased portion size are some of the common factors that contribute to the rising rate of obesity for children worldwide.
The Impact of Family Dynamics on Obesity in Children
There is too much mounting evidence linking family dynamics to overweight and obesity in children (Williams et al., 2018). According to recent research, parental life choices such as the food they eat and exercise routine have a role in the child’s development and the things they embrace (Chai et al., 2019). Parents who have zero interest in exercising are likely to make poor food choices.
Therefore, they are likely to bring up children who are obese based on the type of food they eat and the general environment (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). In such families, the food choices that the children will make are highly inclined to the things they learn from their parents.
Exercise helps the body to burn excess fat and keep the muscle rejuvenated. It also improves the quality of life and makes one feel stronger (Pratt & Skelton 2018). This minimizes the risks of building weight and guarantees the person is flexible and can effectively handle various situations.
On the other hand, parents who do not engage in physical exercise are not likely to teach their children or rather allow them to exercise (Bohnert et al., 2020). Lack of exercise for children can be associated with multiple side effects.
A child who is not consistent in exercises often has difficulty socializing with peers or even engaging in playing activities that involve outdoor adventures (Gray et al., 2018). Such a habit limits the children from using the energy gathered from the food they eat. In turn, this energy builds additional weight in the children, affecting their mobility on regular days.
The type of food people eat reflects directly on how their bodies will develop and look. For children, being overweight opens opportunities for chronic conditions to enter, which makes it difficult for them to enjoy quality life like their peers (Sanyaolu et al., 2019).
Poor family dynamics is also another issue that affects the children’s weight gain leading to obesity is the family’s economic dynamics. Parents with financial challenges also experience issues related to obesity and overweight in children (Chai et al., 2019).
Lack of financial stability pushes parents to do things that are not necessarily healthy to keep their children happy. Therefore, they are likely to introduce their children to eating junk foods as a way to show things are normal. Socio-cultural variables also influence obesity development.
Food is frequently used as a reward, a tool for controlling people, and as part of socializing in our society. These food-related activities may stimulate the formation of unhealthy food interactions, raising the risk of obesity (Gray et al., 2018). They also tend to avoid engaging their children in manual activities or even helping with household chores.
In early childhood, the parent is responsible for what happens to the children. This includes monitoring what the children eat, how they interact with others, and the kind of responsibilities they learn (Williams et al., 2018). However, because the family has a financial problem, parents compliment the difference by ensuring they strain to provide the best they can afford to ensure the children do not realize the difference.
The Role of Parents in Increasing the Current Issue of Childhood Obesity
A recent study indicates that parents have a role to play in the development period of their children. Obesity is a fairly persistent trait, however, it’s difficult to tell if past obesity drives current obesity or whether a persistent underlying and unobservable cause influences obesity at all times, comparable to endogeneity (Bohnert et al., 2020). Obesity is influenced by socioeconomic position, parental education, and single motherhood, and these factors stay largely stable through time.
However, the processes underlying these connections are unknown (Pratt & Skelton 2018). From a policy standpoint, measures to prevent obesity would be futile if obesity was solely determined by previous obesity and socioeconomic circumstances. On the other hand, interventions are successful in reducing childhood obesity.
Similarly, therapies have proved effective in lowering prenatal weight increase and adult obesity (Chai et al., 2019). This shows that it is possible to control obesity in both children and adults with the correct therapies and that obesity is determined not only by previous obesity and social circumstances but also by more intricate family interactions.
When children experience weight and obesity problems from an early age, they are likely to carry on with the problem to adulthood. Obese children tend to dislike some foods, and focusing more on taking them is unhealthy, which develops into a difficult habit to change (Sanyaolu et al., 2019).
The availability of nutritious meals and regular exposure to them is crucial for building preferences and overcoming food hate. Evidence suggests that families who eat together consume more nutritious foods (Gray et al., 2018). Therefore, mealtime structuring is vital.
Furthermore, eating out or watching television while eating is linked to a higher fat intake. The way parents feed their children is also important. The author discovered that authoritative feeding (determining which meals are supplied, allowing the child to choose, and offering a rationale for healthy options) is linked to good food cognitions and consumption. Surprisingly, authoritarian restrictions on junk food are linked to an increased appetite for unhealthy foods and increased weight.
Children become a reflection of what their parents are and what they constantly see. Family dynamics and other environmental factors play a significant role in children’s health. Regarding obesity in children, family plays a critical role, impacting how the child develops and perceives life. Children’s habits at a young age are likely to remain the same through adulthood. Therefore, it is critical for the patent to ensure they introduce their children to better life habits to avoid nurturing weight-related issues in the future.
Bohnert, A. M., Loren, D. M., & Miller, A. L. (2020). Examining childhood obesity through the lens of developmental psychopathology: Framing the issues to guide best practices in research and intervention. American Psychologist, 75(2), 163. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000581
Chai, Li Kheng, Clare Collins, Chris May, Katherine Brain, Denise Wong See, and Tracy Burrows. “Effectiveness of family-based weight management interventions for children with overweight and obesity: an umbrella review.” JBI Evidence Synthesis 17, no. 7 (2019): 1341-1427. doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003695
Gray, L. A., Alava, M. H., Kelly, M. P., & Campbell, M. J. (2018). Family lifestyle dynamics and childhood obesity: evidence from the millennium cohort study. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-15.
Pratt, K. J., & Skelton, J. A. (2018). Family functioning and childhood obesity treatment: a family systems theory-informed approach. Academic Pediatrics, 18(6), 620-627. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2018.04.001
Sanyaolu, A., Okorie, C., Qi, X., Locke, J., & Rehman, S. (2019). Childhood and adolescent obesity in the United States: a public health concern. Global Pediatric Health, 6, 2333794X19891305. https://doi.org/10.1177/2333794X19891305
Williams, A. S., Ge, B., Petroski, G., Kruse, R. L., McElroy, J. A., & Koopman, R. J. (2018). Socioeconomic status and other factors associated with childhood obesity. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 31(4), 514-521. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2018.04.170261