Essay: Psychological and Physical Effects of Obesity
Obesity has also resulted to a number of psychological and physical effects in elementary school children. The major problem with this kind of condition in children is low esteem and discrimination by other children of their age. Children at the age between six years and eleven years are friendly but when it comes to the obese children in school, they are very cruel calling them all sorts of names that ridicules them. This makes the obese children feel out of place or develop aggressive behavior. Children who are not obese do not befriend the obese children and the obese remain isolated with no friends to associate with. A study was done on obese children and how they would rate their quality of life, their scores were as low as cancer patients going through chemotherapy (Torgan, online).
Other studies that were conducted on both obese and non-obese children on their ability to perform tasks, sleep, play different types of sport, and keep up with the rest of the school indicated that the score for obese children were lower than those of an average child. Obese children are therefore at risk of developing psychological and eating disorders along with other physical limitations. Obesity affects severely and majority of them hardly finish their school successfully. There have been increased dropout rates of obese children due to discrimination and those who stick hardly perform better (Arenz et al, 1247-1256).
Obesity in children poses a significant public health concern in the United States. According to the 1999-2002 NHANES survey, 16 percent of children ages 6-19 years are overweight. Not only have the rates of overweight increased, but also the heaviest children in a recent NHANES survey were markedly heavier than those in previous surveys (National Center for Health Statistics). Obesity in the U.S is a matter of concern now that it is reaching high proportions that are sending alarm bells to the health officials. Children are suffering in silence and there is no one out there to address this issue.