Introduction: Severe Obesity in Children
Today, there are several reasons for why people should pay more attention to the problem of obesity among children. Severe obesity is even more dangerous because:
- The number of obese children continues to grow, and it is expected that more than 70 million children around the whole world will be obese.
- Interventions play an important role because obesity cannot go away. It has to be treated.
- Numerous health problems are caused by obesity, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and even cancer.
- Obese children are exposed to social isolation and the development of mental disorders like depression, fatigue, anxiety, and emotional instability.
- Finally, obesity may lead to child’s death.
Obesity: Problem that Matters
Obesity is the problem that millions of people discuss worldwide. It turned out to be a global problem in 1980 and continues bothering people today. Why does this problem matter? Just look at the numbers:
From the global perspective, 41 million children are defined as obese. Approximately 2.6 million people die because of obesity every year. The most obese nations are the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Canada.
In the United States, the numbers are impressive as well. 12.7 million children are reported as obese. About 34 children die from obesity every hour. Regarding the races that can be found on the US territory, American Indians (18%), Hispanic (17.3%), Non-Hispanic whites (12.2%), and Non-Hispanic blacks (11.9%) are obese.
Article about Obesity: Description
In this paper, “Severe Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Identification, Associated Health Risks, and Treatment Approaches” is the article for analysis. Its authors, Kelly et al., underline the role of medical management and preventive steps that can be recommended to American children and their families (1689). Severe obesity may be associated with different health risks, and this article investigates the most important aspects of this condition. Prevention of obesity may gain different forms, and lifestyle change is not the only method. Therefore, many people are still challenged by the necessity to prevent pediatric obesity.
In the article under consideration, the authors identify three main goals for their research.
First, it is necessary to develop a clear and informative definition of severe obesity and connect it to children as a vulnerable population.
The second step is the improvement of awareness of obesity in children, its peculiarities, epidemiology, health risks, challenges, and treatment options that can be offered to the US patients (Kelly et al. 1689).
Finally, it is important to identify the areas of future research that have to be improved and developed thoroughly. The reader should know what kind of work has been already done, and what opportunities can be observed in the future.
Research Methods in the Article
The authors of the article choose a systematic literature review as the main method to gather and analyze information. 269 sources were used (Kelly et al. 1712). The inclusive criterion is to be published between 2000 and present year. No old sources were allowed. The information in the sources touched the situation with obesity in different countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Italy, Germany, and other European countries where the problem of obesity remains to be urgent. As soon as the sources were found and proved as appropriate or research, the information was divided into categories. First, definitions and nomenclature were introduced. Then, epidemiological information on child obesity was given. Associated health risks, including cardiovascular problems, metabolic risks, and disorder eating, were gathered in the next section. Then, the section of treatment approaches was developed. Medications for obesity were also discussed. The pre-conclusion sector was devoted to research gaps and future research needs.
In this article, the authors do not focus on explaining different opinions and approaches. They choose the most appropriate ideas and prove their correctness. The definition of “severe obesity” is given after the words “severe” and “extreme” were compared. “Severe” was proved to be more appropriate for this discussion due to its ability to underline the harshness of the concept. Epidemiological research showed that children between 3 and 5 years are under a threat of being seriously obese. Black and Hispanic children from low-income families are vulnerable populations. Many associated health risks were found, including the problems with heart, metabolism, liver, sleeping, and eating (Kelly et al. 1693). Treatment in the forms of life modifications, medications (metformin, lipase inhibitors, and exenadine), surgery (bariatric and RYGB) was discussed. Considerable research gaps were discovered to prove the importance to investigate this field again.
The main outcome of the article under analysis is the possibility to improve people’s awareness of treatment approaches for children with severe obesity. The authors suggest three methods of treatment that include changes in the lifestyle, usage of medications, and surgery. A certain attention is paid to lifestyle changes because they include a number of activities and options. Children may ask for social support in order to establish personal goals and solve their problems. Children also have access to behavioral therapies and diets in terms of which meals can be replaced, new physical activities can be offered, and communication with a psychologist may be included. Medications become a common solution for many obese children today (Kelly et al. 1699). Different drugs can be used to treat obesity. The issues of overdose, side effects, and age have to be discussed individually. In case medications and lifestyle changes do not help, surgery may be offered. There are many types of surgical procedures; some of them are safe, and some of them require additional knowledge, experience, and preparations (Kelly et a. 1702).
Strengths and Limitations
In this article, much attention is paid to the theoretical background. The authors underline the role of care management is underestimated, and current treatments for obese children are limited in their effectiveness and availability (Kelly et al. 1689). They introduce severe obesity as one of the fastest-growing subcategories of this disorder in American children. The strengths of this article also include deep research and the consideration of more than 200 works published in the 2000s, clear definitions, theoretical examples, and statistical data that helps to explain obesity and its development among children. Kelly et al. structure the article in a proper way providing each section with a title, a purpose, and an outcome. Still, there are also several shortages that should be mentioned. It is hard to clarify what the authors think on this topic. There is no personal opinion, as well as the experiences of patients. The absence of real-life examples and the usage of complicated vocabulary make the article difficult to read and understand from time to time.
In my opinion, this article can be used by students, nurses, and potential researchers as a helpful source of information about obesity, its epidemiology, treatment, and further implications. There are many credible references that can be used as supportive material for the creation of a new project. In this article, a clear topic is given. Properly developed explanations are introduced in each section of the article. It is easy to understand what authors want to discuss, why this theme is urgent, and what kind of research can be appropriate in the future. Statistics and illustrative material in the form of graphs and tables give the necessary information in a comprehensible way. Finally, strong conclusions and outcomes show that the authors set the goals and achieved them. They evaluated the portion of the work done and succeeded in their intentions to prove that obesity in children is a serious public question that had to be solved.
In general, the chosen article introduces severe obesity as a serious public health problem and even a challenge many children and their families have to deal with. It is not enough to see an obese child and understand that it is a problem to have extra weight. Today, American society, as well as medicine, is not ready to deal with obesity and explain to every person why obesity is dangerous. Obesity is not only a problem. It is a disease that has to be treated. There are several ways to treat obesity, including medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery in case first two options are not effective. American healthcare organizations have to develop new policies and programs in terms of which continuing care can be offered to children. Obesity is a disease, and children should be treated properly.
Kelly, Aaron S., et al. “Severe Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Identification, Associated Health Risks, and Treatment Approaches.” Circulation, vol. 128, no. 15, 2013, pp. 1689-1712.