Obesity in Toddlers

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Obesity in Toddlers

Anna Daburger


HHSC 311: Nutrition

Obesity is a leading cause of preventable illness and death in North America. It is defined as as Childhood obesity is a global epidemic that, over the last few decades, has increased dramatically. Available estimates for the period between the 1980s and 1990s show the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children increased by a magnitude of two to five times in developed countries (e.g. from 11% to over 30% in boys in Canada), and up to almost four times in developing countries (e.g. from 4% to 14% in Brazil) (Flynn et al., 2005). By the year 2010, nearly 43 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight globally (Veldhuis et al., 2012). This data is proof that childhood obesity is a growing problem that needs to be seriously addressed, and many preventative measures have been made to target the global population and reduce these numbers. Obesity in children has its implications for negative social stigmatization, poor self-esteem and potential adult morbidities of hyperlipidemia, diabetes and hypertension (R. Allen & A. Myers, 2006). There are several predictions as to why obesity in toddlers is such a common occurrence, and much research has gone into determining the basis from which this epidemic arises. Some studies link childhood obesity to the role of parents in their child’s development, as well as the child’s nutrition and daily nutrient intake and their daily activity and routine.

In a study done by Richard E. Allen and Anya L. Myers, Nutrition in Toddlers, the nutrient intake of toddlers was evaluated as well as other factors that contribute to childhood obesity. Allen and Myers noted that during the transition from infancy to toddlerhood at about one year of age, an important change in nutritional habits occur, and during this time toddlers gain independence by gaining self-feeding skills and increasing their control over food choices. Care givers for these...