Essay Sample on Diet and Exercise Program for Elementary Childhood Obesity

Published: 2023-03-28
Essay Sample on Diet and Exercise Program for Elementary Childhood Obesity
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sport Child development Diet Nutrition
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1735 words
15 min read

Childhood obesity remains one of the most severe issues of public health concern in contemporary society (Karki, Shrestha, & Subedi, 2019). A plethora of children diagnosed with obesity tend to exceed the normal weight for their age as well as height. Childhood obesity is particularly challenging because children tend to have extra pounds of weight, which often starts them on the path of multiple health problems that initially affected adults. Examples of such conditions include diabetes, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. Findings from comparative studies also indicate that most of obese children usually become obese adolescents as well as adults, especially when one or both of their parents have the same condition (Makris & Foster, 2011). Childhood obesity may also culminate in psychological issues among children and their adolescent counterparts, such as low self-esteem and depression. However, feeding on a proper diet and performing regular exercises are effective and evidence-based strategies for preventing and controlling elementary childhood obesity (Bagchi, 2011). Therefore, this paper provides a comprehensive discussion on the significance of eating a healthy diet and having a well-planned and executed exercise program over lacking the two.

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Importance of Diet and Exercise Program for Elementary Childhood Obesity as Compared to No Diet and Exercise Routine

According to Waters (2010), using a diet and exercise program are vital strategies in the prevention of elementary childhood obesity, which is one of the most health problems affecting people across the world. Children, adolescents, and adults who exercise regularly and stick to a healthy diet have multiple benefits apart from obesity prevention (Wen, Rissel, & He, 2017). For instance, obesity puts children vulnerable to numerous adverse health consequences that are easy to prevent through regular exercise and healthy diets. First, an increase in children diagnosed with obesity has a direct correlation with a rise in the mortality rates of a given geographical region. Studies investigating the impact of mortality rates among children found that there were higher deaths among those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 and above (Volger, Radler, & Rothpletz-Puglia, 2019). Therefore, undertaking any form of preventive measures, which include regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, could help in lowering the mortality rates reported across the world.

Secondly, children who eat a balanced diet and have routine exercise have an increased capacity to prevent diabetes, which results from obesity (Makris & Foster, 2011). Contemporary society continues to witness an overwhelming increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Today, more than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes. The percentage of people with type 2 diabetes among those diagnosed with the condition in the United States ranges between 90% and 95% (Volger, Radler, & Rothpletz-Puglia, 2019). Historically, type 2 diabetes developed often in people with an average of 45 years, however, a plethora of children and adolescents are also increasingly suffering from the dangerous condition not only in the United States but across the world. Findings from comparative studies found that children and adolescents diagnosed with obesity and neither exercise regularly nor stick to a balanced diet has a higher risk of developing type diabetes (Wen, Rissel, & He, 2017). The most critical risk factor of diabetes remains people's BMI, which refers to an individual's weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters.

According to Bagchi (2011), having a BMI of less than 18.5 is an indicator of being in the underweight range. A BMI that ranges between 18.5 and 24.9 is an illustration of being in the healthy weight category while a ration between 25 and 29.9 indicates being in the overweight range. The latter is the leading cause of obesity among children and adults. BMI is a critical measure used by researchers to screen for weight categories that may lead to severe health problems but does not diagnose body fatness or the overall health of an individual. However, a high BMI, exceeding 25kg kg/m2, is an indicator of body fatness (Biro & Wien, 2010). The risk of developing type 2 diabetes remains significantly higher even among children with a BMI of 25kg kg/m2 when contrasted with those having a BMI of less than 22 kg/m2, but enormous among those with a ratio of 30 kg/m2 and above.

Thirdly, childhood obesity, which results mainly from having a high BMI have a risk of suffering from higher blood pressure and vulnerable to hypertension. Tilenius (2018) ascertained that children diagnosed with obesity and fail to exercise regularly, as well as eat healthy foods, tend to have higher levels of cholesterols, such as triglycerides and Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The presence of higher levels of such cholesterols in the arteries can lead to strokes, which refers to a sudden disruption in the flow of blood that can culminate in server damage to the brain. Stroke has far-reaching effects, including memory loss, deprivation of the ability to move, and difficulties with swallowing as well as speech. Researchers also implicate high blood cholesterol in the loss of memory and mental function not only in children but also adults diagnosed with obesity (Allman-Farinelli, 2015). The risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, therefore, increases significantly with weight gain and obesity.

Fourthly, lack of regular exercises and poor eating habits are a significant cause of obesity, which results from continuous weight gain and higher BMI. Allman-Farinelli (2015) identified obesity is a vital risk factor in the development of gall bladder diseases among children and adults alongside an increase in the incidence of clinically symptomatic gallstones. An increase in BMI also puts children at risk of different types of cancer. For example, there is much evidence to suggest that high BMI puts male children at the risk of suffering from cholesterol cancer and breast cancer in a plethora of post-menopausal women (Volger, Radler, & Rothpletz-Puglia, 2019). Also, studies suggest that girls with a higher BMI and having obesity have a higher probability of suffering from cancer of the endometrium as well as biliary passage. Additional challenges of obesity among children include increased risk of gout, experiencing sleep apnoea alongside multiple obstetric and surgical complications in their adulthood (Pandita et al., 2016). Psychological problems, such as low self-esteem and depression that may culminate in suicidal tendencies, are also common among obese children.

Finally, having a healthy diet characterized by recommended food items and regular exercises saves people from the costs associated with taking care of the obesity needs of their children in later years (Makris & Foster, 2011). Parents, guardians, caregivers, and families taking care of children with obesity spent large amounts of money to address their developing problems and health conditions. Countries also spend direct budgetary costs on catering to the needs of children with obesity. For example, the approximated annual health care costs of obesity and its related diseases sum up to $190.2 billion or about 21% of the United States' medical yearly expenditure (Tilenius, 2018). The U.S spends nearly 14 billion in direct medical costs exclusively on childhood obesity. Most of these direct costs of obesity predominantly go to addressing severe health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension (Bagchi, 2011). Indirect expenses, on the other hand, may exceed the direct costs and include lost workdays lost, regular visits to private physicians, premature mortality, and disability pensions.

How to Use Diet and Exercise Program to Prevent Elementary Childhood Obesity

Obesity prevention with the use of dietary approaches should start immediately after birth (Cali & Caprio, 2008). First, feeding infants exclusively on milk for the first six months is a medically recommended approach towards ensuring that the child gets the appropriate nutrients from the mother's milk required for healthy living in later years. However, milk comprises exclusively of what the mother eats. Therefore, breastfeeding women must strictly eat a balanced diet consisting of fewer fats to ensure that their children get appropriate nutrients. Secondly, mothers should feed growing children with proper portion sizes of food (Cali & Caprio, 2008). For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics hypothesized that toddlers do not require vast amounts of food when compared to adolescents. As a result, it is recommendable for caregivers to ensure that every inch of height is equitable to approximately 40 calories of food intake. Thirdly, parents should ensure that their children build early relationships with healthy foods by encouraging their children to eat a variety of fruits, proteins, and vegetables (Biro & Wien, 2010). Lastly, parents should avoid feeding their children with large amounts of processed foods and snacks while encouraging them to eat slowly and when hungry as opposed to excessive eating.

According to Waters (2010), taking too much food on a day increases the level of reserves stored in the body in the form of fats, which may culminate in obesity. Having an appropriate exercise program can also help to prevent childhood obesity. The plan should outline appropriate activities that children should carry out at different ages to ensure maximum benefits. For instance, children below one year should have a daily routine of 5 to 15-minute plays sessions characterized by highly-supervised floor-based activities in the same environments, such as pulling and pushing, grasping, and tummy time (Pandita et al., 2016). Children between 1 to 5 years, on the other hand, should have at least 3 hours of play with parents to promote other children, which supports essential activities such as stretching, kicking, throwing and catching, reaching places, and running. Children between 5 to 12 years should have intensity physical activities for at least an hour for three days a week. Such exercises include jumping, dancing, skipping, and running (Wen, Rissel, & He, 2017). Lastly, children of 13 to 17 years should have rigorous exercises to burn excessive fats to achieve higher concentration levels in class, such as skipping and running.


Preventing elementary childhood obesity can be one of the most challenging activities among parents as well as caregivers' lives not only at home but also in child facilities. Child stakeholders, such as family members, parents, and caregivers, understand that a healthy diet and an appropriate exercise program are effective strategies in preventing and managing obesity and its associated effects. However, most of these stakeholders have inadequate knowledge of the proper diet and exercises to hinder elementary childhood obesity. Also, children who do not eat healthy foods and lack an exercise routine can develop multiple health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, there is a strong need to sensitize and educate parents and childcare givers on vital strategies that can help them in preventing elementary childhood obesity, as discussed in this paper.


Allman-Farinelli, M. A. (2015). Nutrition promotion to prevent obesity in young adults. Healthcare, 3(3), 809-821. Retrieved from

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