Everythingin life has its price. The more developed the society is, the more problematicit is, especially in developing countries like Vietnam such as: environmentproblems, crime rates… One of the growing problems is obesity among childern. Thelatest survey (2014-2015) on obesity is conducted by Dr. Bui Thi Nhung, Dean ofSchool Nutrition and School of Industry, National Institute of Nutrition,Obesity, overweight for children, October 18. Obesity in children frompreschool and school age to adulthood is increasing in Vietnam, especially inbig cities.
From 1980 to 2013, the prevalence ofoverweight and obesity increased by 27% in adults and 47% in children.In 1996 the proportion of overweight and obese children in Hanoi and Ho ChiMinh City was 12%. 13 years later (in 2009) this rate is 43%. Results of thesurvey in 2014-2015, the rate of obese children in HCMC over 50%, and the innercity of Hanoi about 41%. In HCMC, the prevalence of overweight and obesityamong under-five children has tripled over the past 10 years. The prevalence ofoverweight and obesity among school children has doubled from nearly 12% in2002 to 22% in 2009. (Trang, 2017).
Thus, this paper,based on secondary data will discuss the causes, effects of obesity and takesome solutions to improve this situation in Vietnam. Childhood obesity is a common disease starting indeveloped countries, then developing countries like Vietnam. It is defined astoo much and abnormal fat deposition in the body or the whole body that affectshealth. To determine whether a person has obesity, scientists use a body massindex (BMI), in which people with a BMI above 30 are thought to be obese. Vietnam currently has about 1.2 millionchildren who are obese, and some of them are due to genetic factors.
The researchers examined the height and weight of 100,000children and their parents in Britain, the United States, China, Indonesia,Spain and Mexico. The results show that BMI is inherited throughgenerations 20% from mother and 20% from father. Thus the pattern in BMIgenetics is consistent across countries, irrespective of the level of economic,industrial or economic development. Professor Peter Dolton from the Universityof Sussex said: “This suggests that children who have overweight parents aremore likely to be obese when they grow up. This finding shows us the seriousconsequences for children’s health in the world and obesity is the result offamily factors, genetics, not just individual decisions.
“(Mai, 2017)However, genetics are no longer a importantproblem, today’s children are largely fat due to their eating habbits and lackof exercise. Poor nutrition is one of the maincauses for the increasing obesity rate among children in Vietnam.Children who live in some limited-access communities or limited access tosupermarkets and markets, will choose the convenience food that is not fast,such as frozen meat, the type of cake. Besides, today’s parents are busy withworking, do not have as much time and energy as they used to cook for theirchildren, so eating out at fast food outlets has become a routine. In Vietnam, thereare numerous fast food restaurants, this is a typical high-fat, high-sugar dietand is served in large portions.
In addition, lack of physical activities isanother big issue related to childhood obesity. Children today have to learn a lot, so that theyhave very little time to participate in outdoor activities. Moreover, children are becoming lazier andlazier. When they have time to relax, they tend to be at home, sitting whileeating, watching television and playing games, and andrarely take regular exercise.
This rate increases to 50 percent of children aged 16 to 17and 34 percent of children 13 to 15. Furthermore,scientists also claim that obesity is caused by psychological factors. Personalstress or bad influences of others can affect the psychology and habits ofchildren. Some children eat a lot to cope with these problems or deal withstressful or tedious emotions. This has caused a nutritional imbalance in themor in other word, it is calles obesity. Undoubtedly, obesity has a huge negativeimpact on children. First, overweight children areless agile than their peers.
Obesechildren will always feel heavy, difficult in all activities of life, thismakes them become couch potatoes. According to scientists, less physicalactivity also leads to poor communication. As such, obese children will find itvery difficult to get along and have friends, and even worse, they may bevictims of cruelty and self-pity oftheir peers. As a result, obese children become low self-esteem, which can evenlead to depression and autism. However, not only mental illness, obesitycan also cause many other physical diseases. If children are obese when theyare too young, they can suffer from the high risk of having a negative impacton their development.
Bones that are not strong enough to withstand the load ofmeat, if prolonged, it can lead to cartilage damage, which results in knee turnin or out as well as flat feet. Not only affect the bones, obesity in childrencan also lead to the decline of the immune system, increase risk ofcardiovascular diseases and especially dyspnea. That is not to say thepsychological consequences of obesity that persist throughout the adolescent’slife.
In addition, obesity in children can cause serious complications, lead tomany diseases that should be newly encountered adults such as atherosclerosis,fatty liver disease, high blood pressure..