OBESITY AND TOOTH DEVELOPMENT 7
Definition of obesity
The Government office for science has defined obesity or overweightas the increase of body mass index to extents that are likely tocause health problems to children. The various health issuesassociated with obesity are mental health concerns such as stress,low self-esteem, and depression, gastrointestinal problems,cardiovascular diseases and diabetes (Torchia, 2013). Most of theobese children experience discrimination and lead solitary liveswhile in school. Among the countries where child obesity isprevalent, America leads with over 30% of its children having weightproblems (BBC News, 2008). Overweight children are extremelydesperate for their bodies, and they tend to engage in riskybehaviors that lead to additional weight o their bodies. Thecomparison of obesity prevalence in various countries is shown in thefigure below
The health effects of obesity among children affect several organsin the body. The gastrointestinal system of the body is affected byobesity, and this may interfere with its functions. Research hasindicated that obesity is linked to several gastrointestinaldisorders such as a hiatus hernia and reflux esophagitis or theinflammation of the esophagus (Torchia, 2013). A hiatus hernia occurswhen the diaphragm is damaged, and part of the stomach protrudes.Even though a hiatus hernia is caused by other factors such assmoking, obesity has been said to be the number one cause of thisgastrointestinal disorder. Further, obesity has been linked to coloncancer although the relationship is weak.
Obesity does affect not only the gastrointestinal tract organ, butalso the pulmonary system. The presence of excess fat in the musclessurrounding the lungs can affect the flow of air and ventilation tothe lungs. This limitation of the lungs’ functionality can easilyexacerbate the effects of existing respiratory diseases (Torchia,2013). Notably, the poor movement of air into the lungs can havesimilar side effects as some respiratory diseases. When lungs have areduced functionality, the blood vessels do not receive enoughoxygen. Therefore, a child who is overweight tends to havedifficulties in breathing. Many obese children manage this oxygenshortage easily during the day they are at a high risk ofobstructive sleep apnea while sleeping. It is essential to mentionthat difficulties in breathing are only experienced in people withsevere obesity.
Effects to the endocrine system
Obesity is aided by various hormones such as the ones that create anappetite for food. The endocrine system contains all the glands thatproduce and regulate hormones that affect aspects such as sleep,appetite, urge for sex, development, and metabolism. Obesity affectssome of the glands producing hormones that regulate metabolism(Freedman, 2015). This leads to abnormal metabolism levels leading toaccumulation of fats. The effects on the endocrine system can easilyresult in other diseases. For instance, an increase in the productionof estrogen especially among women can cause breast cancer. Obesityamong children alters the production of hormones where excessivehormones or very little hormones are produced.
Children and teenagers who are overweight usually suffer from avariety of eating disorders. Notably, obese children are frustratedand disappointed with the size and weight of their bodies. Researchhas indicated that in the U.S. there are 30% more boys with obesitythan girls (BBC News, 2008). The figure below shows the statistics.Therefore, most of them do not care about their feeding habits.Bulimia is one of the common eating disorders that are prevalentamong obese children and teenagers (Torchia, 2013). This is adisorder that is characterized by the tendency to eat huge amounts offood with a short time. This is normally followed by strong feelingsof guilt and attempts to vomit. Further, there are instances wherethe obese teenagers engage in prolonged fasting.
More often than not, obese children and teenagers suffer fromemotional disorders such as anorexia. There is no doubt that everyobese person wishes to lose weight and lead a normal life. However,there are some of them who adopt unorthodox strategies such asanorexia (Kiess, 2014). This is where an obese person loses appetitefor food and goes for days without food hoping to lose weight. It isimportant to note that there are instances when such obese peoplerefuse to eat.
The development of teeth in children starts even before they areborn through the formation of tooth buds. Some children have theirfirst teeth eruption at the age of six months, but this may vary fromchild to child. By the age two and two and a half years, mostchildren develop twenty teeth with ten on each jaw (Shils, 2015). Bythe age of five years, the first permanent teeth start to erupt. Anydelay in the eruption of teeth can lead to dental health problems.
In a perfectly healthy child, more permanent teeth develop at theage of eleven years. It is essential to note that the spaces that areusually between teeth in young children are as a result of the growthof the jaw (Shils, 2015). These spaces are later filled up with thepermanent teeth.
Early teeth development
The process of teeth eruption and growth is affected by varioushealth issues. Obesity and overweight are two health conditions thataffect teeth eruption. Research has indicated that obesityaccelerates the eruption and growth of teeth. Early tooth eruptionand development can impair the development of other aspects of growthsuch as the brains (Shils, 2015). Obesity accelerates the growth ofall parts of the body and, therefore, it leads to the fast growth ofteeth. The disorder triggers the production of huge amounts ofhormones that promote growth hence leading to a faster growth ofteeth.
BBC News. (2008). Obesity: In statistics. Retrieved from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7151813.stm
Freedman, J. (2015). Understanding obesity: The mental andphysical effects of obesity. New York: Rosen Pub.
Kiess, W. (2014). Obesity in childhood and adolescence: 24tables. Basel: Karger.
Shils, M. E. (2015). Modern nutrition in health and disease.Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Torchia, M. G. (2013). The developing human: Clinicallyoriented embryology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier.