Obesity due to Lack of Education

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers

The Health Disparity: Obesity due to Lack of Education (Information) for Teenagers
Obesity and overweight among young people have become a critical and alarming public health issue across the globe. According to Paula Braveman, obesity is a crucial risk factor for chronic disease and can impact negatively on not only longevity and quality of life but also economic productivity (Braveman et al., 2011). There exist ethical and practical reasons for handling the social disparities in obesity among children which require applying research and relevant policy. The total population of obese people was expected to be approximately 711.4 million in 2015. Among them, 107.7 million were estimated to be children. In 2015, there were 4 million BMI- related deaths globally which represents 7.1% of all causes of deaths. In China, the number of obese students increased from 1.1% to 9.6% between 1985 and 2010 as seen in the figure below from the data from obesity CHNS ( Moreno & Ahrens, 2011).

A similar trend was experienced across in several other countries globally. The increasing prevalence of obesity can be as a result of changing lifestyles. Other health issues related to obesity include type-2 diabetes, arterial stiffening, liver dysfunction, sub-fertility, skeletal disorders, renal failure among other conditions (Frisco et al., 2016). These conditions are contributing significantly to the decline in life expectancy and low quality of life among adolescents and children. Studies indicates that some of the factors that lead to obesity among teenagers are poor sleeping habits, poor eating habits, lack of exercise. It is unfortunate that most of the factors that influence the condition are avoidable if the youth are equipped with the right information. Considering the elements, it is evident that a lack of education (knowledge) contributes to increased rates of obesity among teenagers.
Lack of Exercise
Exercise is an essential factor in the prevention of obesity among both young people and adults. Recent research has indicated that physical exercise impacted positively various health conditions including obesity, type-2 diabetes, weight gain, dementia to mention but a few. A survey on the relationship between physical fitness and overweight during childhood indicates that a quarter of the adolescent population of many countries is either obese or overweight (GLINKOWSKA et al,., 2018). The young generation needs to be informed of the importance of being active and the consequences of being inactive.
Cultural Beliefs
Cultural beliefs and religion also play an essential role in the issue of obesity. Research indicates that Muslims are at a lesser risk of being obese as compared to their Christian counterparts while hindus are at the highest risk, thanks to their different socioeconomic status and food habits (Dewan, 2017). The young people need to learn on the values that they may follow and food habits that may adopt to reduce their risks of being obese.

Poor Sleeping Habits
Sleeping habits also show a significant association with obesity. Even though there is still a debate on the relationship between the two, a study in some counties in Zheijang China, found a U-shaped relationship between sleep and obesity. According to the survey, young people who sleep for long hours are at high risk of becoming overweight and obese (Wang et al, 2018). The same applies to people who sleep for extremely short periods. On the contrary, people who sleep for an adequate period are less likely to become obese.
It is a fact that lack of education (knowledge) enhances the problem of obesity among young children in China. The issue of obesity offers the public health department an opportunity to conduct more research on how to control the issue. Many children unknowingly fail to engage in exercise which is affecting their health remarkably. Some cultural beliefs and poor sleeping habits also impact adversely on the health of an individual. The points are aligned with the thesis and that enlightening students about obesity would have a positive effect in fighting obesity.
Engaging in school intervention programs may reduce the obesity epidemic significantly. Public health practitioners should promote nutrition education and lifestyles to help control the epidemic. Health practitioners should educate the society on culturally competent health promotion which should include community members to reduce the increase of obesity cases. The public health sector should also advocate for more policies that may enhance their actions in the fight against obesity.

Annotated Bibliography
Article 1: Braveman, P. A., Kumanyika, S., Fielding, J., LaVeist, T., Borrell, L. N., Manderscheid, R., & Troutman, A. (2011). Health Disparities and Health Equity: The Issue Is Justice. American Journal of Public Health, 101(S1), S149–S155
Summary: The article is about the society’s target of eliminating health disparities given the diverse definitions of health disparities used. There is a general agreement by the authors that health disparities are systematic and avoidable yet they affect the health of individuals drastically.
Analysis: The issue of health disparities particularly obesity among children is the basis of my thesis. I find the article very relevant as Braveman is digging into the matter and trying to offer solutions and implication which may be of assistant to my study.
Article 2: Dewan, M. (2017). Connection of Religion and Health: Relevance in the Study of Obesity Amongst Children and Adolescents. Bio Science Research Bulletin-Biological Sciences, 33(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.5958/2320-3161.2017.00003.7
Summary: This article talks presents a study on the qualitative analysis of adolescents aged between 10 – 19 years with obesity and type-2 diabetes. The study constitutes people from different religions. The author concludes that culture and religious beliefs serve as indicators of religious groups and interest in religious differences is targeted with the hope of discovering the extent of genetic homogeneity through inbreeding, preserved environmental consistency, a difference in dietary habits, etc.
Analysis: the study supports the thesis because it shows how teenagers are brought up in different religions. Different beliefs and cultures affect dietary which is a significant contributor to obesity.
Article 3: Frisco, M., Quiros, S., Hook, J., Frisco, M. L., & Van Hook, J. (2016). One Size May Not Fit All: How Obesity Among Mexican-Origin Youth Varies by Generation, Gender, and Age. Demography, 53(6), 2031–2043. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-016-0525-3
Summary: The study examines how vulnerable immigrants are to the risk of childhood obesity. The author finds that age moderates ethnic differences in obesity among people of different genders. People of different ages with different origins are differently exposed to various health conditions.
Analysis: The author seems to agree with the thesis that age is a significant contributor to obesity, but the author also suggests that ethnicity does not affect how different people are exposed to chronic health conditions.
Article 4: GLINKOWSKA, B., GLINKOWSKI, W. M., & Glinkowska, B. (2018). Association of sports and physical activity with obesity among teenagers in Poland. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health, 31(6), 771–782. https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01170
Summary: The article presents a survey of adolescents between ages 10 – 19. The author finds that youths who engage in physical activities are more active which makes them less vulnerable to chronic health conditions compared to teenagers who are inactive.
Analysis: The findings are in agreement with the thesis since adolescents fail to realize that physical exercise is an essential activi9ty to avoid obesity. The study indicates that engaging in physical practice will significantly reduce the chances of one becoming obese.
Article 5: He, J., Cai, Z., & Fan, X. (2017). Prevalence of binge and loss of control eating among children and adolescents with overweight and obesity: An exploratory meta-analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50(2), 91–103. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.22661
Summary: The article is a study linking prevalence of binge and loss of control eating among children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. The meta-analysis showed that binge or loss of control eating was prevalent among many children and adolescents with overweight and obesity.
Analysis: Eating disorders contribute immensely to obesity. This indicates that the findings of the meta-analysis are in line with the thesis since the youth lack more information regarding proper eating methods which is a significant determinant of chronic health conditions.
Article 6: Wang, H., Hu, R., Du, H., Fiona, B., Zhong, J., & Yu, M. (2018). The relationship between sleep duration and obesity risk among school students: a cross-sectional study in Zhejiang, China. Nutrition & Metabolism, 15(1), N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0285-8
Summary: The article is about a qualitative study 18,403 students in China. The findings of the survey show that adequate sleep duration is an essential component of obesity prevention initiatives among teenagers. Oversleeping or having less sleep proved to impact on chronic illnesses and obesity.
Analysis: The article concurs with the thesis as it shows how poor sleeping habits contribute to various health conditions including obesity and the young people are becoming victims of their poor sleeping habits due to lack of information.
Moreno, A. L., Pigeot, I., & Ahrens, W. (2011). Epidemiology of obesity in children and adolescents: Prevalence and etiology. New York: Springer.
Summary: The article contains data on the secular trends of obesity among adults in children across the world.
Analysis: The data are evidence of the increasing trends in the cases of obesity among children globally including in China which is aligned with my thesis.