Obesity in Children

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Date Submitted: 11/06/2010 09:33 AM

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Obesity in Children

The W.H.O. (2006) confirms that obesity is one of the most prevalent, controversial and potentially controllable disorders affecting children’s health. It is a nutritional disorder but is also seen as a body image disturbance.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children is increasing rapidly worldwide. Excessive consumption of food with a high fat or sugar content together with lack of physical activity means that many children are becoming overweight. Overweight children are twice more likely to be obese when they grow up than children who aren’t overweight. Some of which develop conditions or diseases often found in adults. Such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, cerebro-vascular accident, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and certain cancers. The risk of health problems increases the more overweight you become.

Healthy communities provide children not only with high quality medical care, but also with a nursing, safe place to live and grow. They address the concerns of the community’s value system, thus increasing the community’s own capacity to meet its needs according to Flynn and Ivanov (2004)


Statistically Malta tend to lead in childhood obesity. In the 2001-2002 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Study, Malta topped the list. Out of 34 countries participating, Malta came first with 25.4% followed by the United States with 25.1%.

This problem is particularly evident mostly in western societies due to particular lifestyle and dietary habits. 20% of Europe’s school-age children are estimated to be overweight and of these, 1 in 5 is obese. The local situation is reaching critical levels, with childhood and indeed pan-population, obesity being very widely prevalent. Up to 25% of Maltese children are overweight (85-95 percentile for BMI). The Malta Medical Journal (2006), verifies that in certain age groups, Maltese children are the most obese worldwide, surpassing...