Childhood Obesity is One of the Biggest Problems

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest problems in the XXI century. According to WHO, over 340 million of children and adolescents (5-19) were obese or overweight in 2016, three times more than 1975 (WHO, 2018). This is directly influenced by advertising, according to American Psychological Association, children have the ability to remember the information of the ads they saw on Tv, which later influence them in their food choices and their request to parents. (APA, n.d). This is called: pester power, one of the most used marketing strategies nowadays but not to promote fruits and vegetables, or healthy food.

‘Almost three out of every four foods advertised to children falls into the unhealthy categories that contribute to the obesity epidemic” (APA, n.d)

In Colombia, poverty is a trademark issue affecting nutrition. According to the ENSIN 2015, one of every ten adolescents between 13 and 17 have malnutrition , concentrating on indigenous people (36.5%), poorest (14.9%) and those who live in rural areas (15.7%) (ENSIN, 2015) But also, the obesity is affecting a lot in the last years, in 2010 was the 18,8% of the population between 5 and 12 years and in 2015 became the 24,4% that population (2017).

Some of the causes of this increment are: the small amount physical activity, taking in account that only 26% of the population between 13 and 17 years comply the minimum of physical activity and that the 56,3% of the population between 5 and 12 years watch Tv 2 or more hours daily (Plan Decenal de Salud Pública, 2013), between others. Because this numbers, many people begin to work in different projects between them: Red PaPaz, a group of parents that decide to protect the rights of children and teenagers in Colombia through actions in actual problems.

(Red PaPaz, n.d.) For the obesity problem, they are doing a campaign to approve a law that regulates the advertising and labeling of beverages and foods that have high caloric content and low nutritional value after the seventh commission of the Senate, disintegrate the project. (Semana, 2018).

Also, the government wrote the law 1355 of 2009, in which established in the article 3, that through its ministries and entities, “it will promote Food and Nutritional Security policies, as well as Physical Activity aimed at promoting healthy and safe environments for their development. These policies will be complemented with communication, education and information strategies” . (ICBF, 2009).

From my point of view, everybody has to be more conscious of their health and health from those around them. It’s very important that people who has a very sedentary/ inactive lifestyle change it, taking in account that it can cause many chronic diseases, that people should start doing exercise in a gradual form, following doctor’s recommendations and/or do some activities in home. At work too, people can get up from their chair and move, less than 20% of the Americans have an active work. (Medline Plus, N.d.)

I want to help my school students, most of them want to be “fit” and try to eat healthily. But, there are others who are very thin and eat many junk food at the break. Nowadays, exist a phenotype called TOFI (Thin Outside, Fat Inside), which consists in people who have “an increased amount of adipose tissue surrounding the internal organs, which increases the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes” (Zdrojewicz et al, 2017) , but outside they seem thin and healthy. I can analyze that a lot of people around me have it, that’s why I think this project should help and involve everybody taking care that the appearances are deceptive and we don’t really know the health situation of anybody, promoting exams like magnetic resonance (detects TOFI) and go to the nutritionist.

Some consequences of this alimentary problems are a lot of diseases, between them: cardiovascular diseases (CVD), Type 2 diabetes, Asthma, sleep apnea, between others. Additionally, is more possible that one obese child becomes an obese adult. (Let’s Move, n.d.)

That is why I like working in a group, we can help more people together and divide the work. Also, each of us can use the capacities and likes we have, to publish images on Instagram or to make posters, between others. In addition, we fortify our friendship.

When we went to the different classrooms, the girls enjoyed the video and I thought many of them change a little bit the way they eat, the way they pass their free time (less Tv, more sports), between others. Also, I like the campaign through Instagram because we can help people outside the school community.

In conclusion, work together was great because sometimes we don’t appreciate the capacities of our classmates and here we can see them. Also, the support between us so that everything went well.

Personal Reflection

Valentina Rivero Ramirez

During this research I learnt so many things that we really don’t know, for example not every people in the world knows exactly what they are eating because un most packages, companies don’t put all the real information at the wrappers.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. This disease is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Some statistics in 2016 are that 39% of people in 18 years old or over were overweight. Currently we can see a lot of publicity about food, this generates an impact on children that see it because they will start to adopt those types of consumption that are often not healthy. According to Common Sense Media there exist persuasive techniques advertisers used to influence kids. In USA 20% of teenagers have obesity and they are between 12-19 years old. This is harmful as I have said because it contributes to have very high rates of diabetes, heart problems, some types of cancer, among other problems to the country. Apart from this, the rate of mortality will increase.For example in Colombia 30% of the people have died by cardiovascular disease caused by having obesity.(RedPaPaz). As stated by NCBI parents need to intervene to moderate children’s food size. El Pais says that, most of rich countries are the ones that have more obesity, for example: USA, Canada, United Kingdom.

Many media take advantage of the innocence of children to persuade them and make them buy their products without taking into account that this products can be harmful to their health. Countries that have a big percentage of obese people sometimes is because people don’t have like a initiative to do exercise or to change their healthy habits, most of them dont think on their health.

In Colombia, Obesity is a common disease. According to a study made by the Health Ministry, in 2012 half of Colombians are overweight and are generally unhealthy. It was also proved that 50% of all Colombians are classified as overweight and 16.5% of that 50% are clinically obese. These results are alarming because more than the half of colombians suffer of obesity. In 2010 there were 42 million children over 5 years old with overweight around the world. Children that have overweight are more able to get physical and psychological problems, they also have more probability to suffer the disease when they are adults. The solution to this problem in some cities, it was to put in the school stores, healthier food to help childs, create a better feeding habits. Doctors have studied this problem in Colombia and they noticed that people are more likely to get this disease because of lack of physical activity and eating a lot of sugary drinks.

From 2010 to 2015 obesity in Colombia increased from 4.9% to 6.3% as I had said before, because of bad habits and not physical activities. There have been campaigns that promote healthy habits and make people realise that physical activity a fundamental factor to control obesity.

Making this project, it helped us to realise that we are not very healthy because sometimes we eat things that we really don’t know what we are eating. Also to know what is good or bad to our health,the diseases obesity could bring us.

On the other hand we can say that industries need to improve the packaging labels to be bigger and people could see what they are consuming, as it is said by RedPaPaz, they are making a campaign about making bigger labels and saying in reality what do this products have in reality it is named “No comas mas mentiras”. Also I think that schools should help to make more activities so that child’s could exercise and know the benefits this brings to their lives. Schools should help to make childs do more exercise and outdoor activities

I really liked this project because we learned a lot as I had said before and also we could cooperate in groups and help each other also we can learn about our classmates skills. I enjoyed when we shared the video to some classrooms because some girls where worried about what was happening, so maybe they got conscious and thought that some things that they were eating were bad to their health. Also I saw how people got interested when we pasted the posters around the school. I can say I really loved this project and working in groups to have a satisfactory work.

Kristel Catalina Diaz Beltran

In this project, I learned a lot about how ads affect the nutrition of people, especially children, since they are more susceptible to the information they are shown. But parents also fall into disappointment because they show them products full of vitamins and minerals that they really are not, which makes them believe that they are important for the growth of their children.

There are many scientific evidences of the great power of influence that advertising has on the diet of minors, says Miguel Ángel Royo-Bordonada, a researcher at the National School of Public Health and author of numerous studies on this problem. Last year he published the largest analysis that has been made about the ads that children see on Spanish television. Children receive 7,500 impacts a year of messages that tell them to eat a product that is not healthy, associated with positive emotions, gifts and gifts, and also ensure they are healthier when it is the opposite, says this specialist .

The last data provided by Royo-Bordonada is especially bleeding: edibles that are not recommended according to medical criteria, but that allow themselves the luxury of advertising with nutritional claims. The most frequent, present in half of the products they analyzed, is to highlight some content in vitamins and minerals (which are also ‘completely unnecessary,’ according to the expert). 80% of the foods that do that, exhibit a single nutrient as a guarantee that they are healthy, actually turn out to be the least healthy edibles.

We made some projects to support our work and that support also help us to get more into the people and for get more information for us as well as for other people information like what is Tofi because not many people know about it. One of the projects was create an account of instagram with the name of @childobesitycolombia and the other project was to made some posters and paste it around Aspaen Gimnasio Cantillana like in the cafeteria and in the elementary building or the high school building and beside explain that posters in five classrooms that are first grade A, first grade B, fourth grade A, fourth grade B and eight grade and make them more aware of what they are feeding.

The child obesity is so dangerous but not many people get conscious of that desease, excess weight has become a terrible slab, associated with all kinds of ailments and diseases that shorten life, and that no country manages to conjure.

‘The industry makes sure that consumers freely choose what they eat. But the scientific evidence ensures that it is just the opposite: individuals are subject to the influence of powerful environmental factors beyond their control, such as mass distribution, availability, cheap prices and intensive advertising, ‘says Royo-Bordonada. In this way, they create and establish taste preferences. Because as the renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead said: ‘It is easier to change someone’s religion than their diet’.

Overweight children are very likely to become adults obese and, compared with children without overweight, are more likely of suffering diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at younger ages, in turn are associated with an increased likelihood of premature death and disability. What matters is not that the child is fat or thin. What is interesting is that the child be healthy. Surveillance Statistics in Public Health and the National Health Survey conducted by the National Institute of Health show that one in every 6 children and adolescents is overweight or obese in Colombia This relationship increases as the SISBEN level increases and the mother’s educational level increases. Excess weight is greater in the urban area, 19.2% than in the rural area, 13.4%.

‘The industry makes sure that consumers freely choose what they eat. But the scientific evidence ensures that it is just the opposite: individuals are subject to the influence of powerful environmental factors beyond their control, such as mass distribution, availability, cheap prices and intensive advertising ‘

Getting out of the obesity is so complicated It is easier to change someone’s religion than their diet, but there are cases in which it has been possible to get out of this disease, obviously with enough help from both a nutritionist and a psychologist.

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