In the past three decades, rates of childhood obesity have increased precipitously. Between the years and 1980 and 2000, the prevalence of obesity has increased from 6.5% to 19.6% among 6 to 11 year old children and 5.0% to 18.1% among 12 to 19 year old adolescents x(National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2010). This condition is accompanied by many physical and psychological consequences for these children. There are two common postions in the debate about the causes of this condition. One belief of the cause of childhood obesity is that it is a question of “personal responsibility” or in the case of children, of “parental responsibility.” That is, increasing rates of obesity are due to parents’ failure to limit their children’s access to “junk food” and to tell them to go play outside. An example of this lack of authority of parents’ over their children’s eating habits is a Kayla, a 4-year-old child who weighs 104 pounds. In this situation, her mother has been unable to control the frequency and quantity of her child’s eating habits (ABC News, 2008; Kofman, 2008; Yellin, & Simons, 2007). The following is a brief overview detailing the model that places the blame of childhood obesity on parents’, and a case study describing the condition of Kayla and how it should be dealt with.
Cause of Obesity
There are many factions who believe that parents are liable for the epidemic of childhood obesity. Some researchers believe that parents may unintentionally encourage inappropriate weight gain in their children by utilizing improper child-feeding manners (Clark, Goyder, Bissell, Blank, & Peters, 2007). Additionally, children may model their parents’ behavior and therefore develop improper eating habits. Particularly, children my develop a penchant foods high in sugar and fat when they are in environments in which such foods are consistently consumed. In these circumstances, when parents attempt to limit children’s ingestion of these foods, they may be inadvertently be reinforcing the children’s desire to consume these unhealthy nutriments (Birch & Fisher, 1998). Other investigators have concluded that when parents leave food selection to the preference of the child, the children often choose a sizable quantity of food of meager nutritional value (Klesges, Stein, Eck, Isbell, & Klesges, 1991).
Kayla Matos-Galos, a 4-year-old girl from Land O’Lakes, Florida, is significantly obese, weighing nearly 105 pounds. The author has been asked to create a plan for the mother of Kayla, Ms. Luz Matos, to help her daughter improve her eating habits and overall health. Ms. Matos was advised that the goal of treatment should be weight maintenance as opposed to weight loss. This plan permits the child to increase in height but not in weight, resulting in a decrease in BMI-for-age into a healthier range. Ms. Matos was additionally informed that this will not be an easy task and that a considerable amount of...