Obesity and Oral Health in Children
Childhood health problems have increased significantly in the recent past at an alarming rate and sparking a lot of questions regarding the vulnerability of children to many health issues. The two major childhood health issues identified are:
- Oral health
According to Onis & Blössner (2003), obesity in children has not only become a major health issue in the United States but also in different parts of the world. Childhood obesity is a serious health issue that occurs due to excess body fat, which translates to at least ten percent greater than the recommended body mass index. Onis & Blössner (2003) affirms that, about 30 percent of children from the middle and low income earning urban families are reportedly found with obesity, which is often related to:
- Poor eating habits such as excessive consumption of an unbalanced diet
- Emotional problems
- Poor medication
- Family history of obesity among others
Normally, obese has both instantaneous and long-term health effects to children and adolescents, which include:
- High risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure
- Emotional problems due to stigmatization, etc
As a serious health problem among children, obesity requires a systematic and preferably regular medical assessment by recognized pediatrician in a bid to determine the possible cause of the issue before treatment. According to Kotch (2013), the best treatment of obesity starts with individual efforts in the quest to reduce body fat simply by engaging in healthy activities and embracing good eating habits among others. Ordinarily, childhood obesity can be prevented and treated through various measures such as:
- Adoption to good eating habits
- Physical activities and exercise
- Avoid junk food and eat less calories
- Attending a stress management program
The World Health Organization plays a major role in providing the aforementioned epidemiological data on obesity in pursuit of widespread counseling and treatment endeavors worldwide. WHO has tried its best to fight against childhood obesity by providing critical information on the problem regarding the prevention and treatment procedures as recommended by physicians.
On the other hand, poor oral health is a major global health issue among children, which is associated with teeth decays and caries that if not treated in time, it could lead to further infections and great pain. According to Am (2013), poor oral health among children has been a popular unhygienic health issue in the past years with the issue expected to augment in the near future. Most children are unaware of the importance of a clean dental cavity while very few visit a dental clinic for dental checkups. Additionally, most children in remote places do not have access to dental clinics due to lack of such facilities. It is advisable that children become well acquainted with the following activities to reduce change of developing oral health problems. They include:
- Brushing their teeth with fluoride after every meal
- Eat healthy food with limited snacks and soft drinks
- Have access to regular dental check-ups
To address this issue, the American Dental Association has come up with various health initiatives aimed at creating awareness on the need to ensure good oral health among children. ADA’s dental health campaigns spread not only in America but also in various nations, where the organization provides free online resources with crucial information to people globally.
School age children are healthy from a number of health issues including obesity and oral health because of the continuous education and care they receive both at home and school. However, they are still at risk of suffering from these diseases because they are susceptible to eating junk food and drinks on their way to and from school, which expose them to possible development of these health issues. Kotch (2013) explains that, this call for more education and awareness to help in raising a generation with minimal cases of obesity and oral health problems.