Childhood Obesity, Its Causes and Consequences

In their article, Sahoo, Sahoo, Choudhury, Sofi, Kumar, and Bhadoria (2015) study the acute problem of childhood obesity. According to Sahoo et al. (2015), the modern world is dominated by two overarching tendencies – nutrition deficiency and overweight, which account for a great deal of polarization on the issue. While developing countries often struggle to meet their citizens’ needs in terms of nutrition, developing countries seem to be having alimentary goods in access.

Sahoo et al. (2015) report that the highest rates of childhood obesity are observed in developed countries; however, developing countries have recently started to catch up as well. Statistically, by 2010, the number of overweight children under the age of five worldwide had amounted to 42 million with close to 35 million of them living in developing countries. Apart from the country status, other factors influence the likelihood of developing this disorder such as gender. Sahoo et al. (2015) claim that girls are more prone to be obese due to inherent hormonal differences. The research questions for the present review go as follows: “What are the main causes of childhood obesity? What are the consequences of childhood obesity?” The initial hypothesis for the study is that there are several interrelated factors shaping health outcomes in children. If unaddressed, the consequences may be the many obesity-related diseases such as type II diabetes and heart conditions.

Sahoo et al. (2015) provide a literature review that gives meaningful insights into the underlying causes of childhood obesity. The sources for the analysis paper are scholarly peer-reviewed articles published throughout the last few years. The literature review contains relevant statistical and qualitative information retrieved from control trial studies, observations, and other reviews. In the literature review, Sahoo et al. (2015) acknowledge that partly, obesity may be genetic. For instance, the researchers cite a study that has proven that up to 25-40% of BMI (body-mass index) is inheritable. Apart from that, genes might be responsible for the so-called basal metabolic rate, i.e. the amount of energy that the human body needs for self-maintenance at rest. It has been hypothesized that obese people have a lower basal metabolic rate.

However, numerous reasons have nothing to do with genes and are modifiable risk factors that health workers and educators can and should address. First, Sahoo et al. (2015) defined exactly what a poor diet encompasses. Sugary drinks are accounting for small incremental changes in BMI over the years. Another element was snacks that are often not considered to be a “real” meal but that increase the daily calorie intake by a significant margin. Lastly, Sahoo et al. (2015) noticed that the portion sizes have gotten larger over the last few decades, which might also be linked to a surge in the number of obese children.

Further, Sahoo et al. (2015) went in deeper to pinpoint environmental and psychological factors behind poor dietary habits. The researchers have discovered that an ample body of evidence suggests that children tend to take after their parents. If the latter did not lead by example, children were less likely to have a good relationship with food. As for psychological factors, as stated by Sahoo et al. (2015), overeating might be a coping mechanism aimed at fighting stress. The present article embarks on a relevant issue that has yet to be solved. The study’s findings might be used to guide the change process by providing information on factors that should be modified.


Sahoo, K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sofi, N. Y., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. S. (2015). Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 4(2), 187-192.

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