Research Paper on Obesity in Children, Michigan

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  875 Words
Date:  2022-04-07

This paper is a summary of how the health determinants: access to health care, individual behavior, social environment, physical environment, and genetics, affects obesity in children, Michigan. The paper also summarizes the most impactful determinant of obesity in children and why it exists. The paper also summarizes how epidemiologic data supports obesity among children and how the data is used in the designing of population health measures and policy initiatives.

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Obesity in children can be defined as a situation where excess body fat has negative effects on a child's health. BMI is the most common way of determining the level of body fats in people CITATION Mat07 \l 2057 (Matthews, 2007). There has been an increase in the level of children affected by obesity and this has led to the disease being regarded as a public health concern. The following paragraphs will try to explore the five population determinants how they affect obesity in children in Michigan.

Access to Health Care

Access to health care affects the health of children and more specifically may play a role in the increase in the level of obesity in children. It is common for children who come from a family with limited resources, or a racial minority lack access to health care services. As a result, the children are more likely to be over-weight and will engage in a less healthy behavior.

Individual Behavior

Over the years, the behavior of families and individuals have been changing and some of these changes have significantly contributed to obesity in children. For instance, children are growing up obese as a result of their mothers declining to breastfeed them and opt to feed them with infant formula food. Also, childhood obesity is increasing as a result of technological advancement. Instead of children going outside to play, they sit down watching television and playing video games. Parents are also playing a role in obesity among children in that; instead of allowing their children to walk or use bikes to the bus stop, they opt to drive their children to the bus stop.

Social Environment

States, nations, and communities adopt various social practices and policies that can be either be of benefit or detriment to the physical health of children. Some of the social environment in the community of Michigan may increase the chance of exposure of children to obesity. The social environment factors include: children access to vending machines, prices of healthy and unhealthy foods, availability of fresh, healthy affordable foods, and the emphasis of schools on the importance of physical activity (Hill, 2003).

Physical Environment

The physical environment surrounding a child can determine the risk level that the minor faces in terms of being affected by obesity. For example, a physical environment that is full of advertisement of unhealthy foods can increase the risk level of children being affected by obesity. Some states have banned or limited the number of adverts of candy, fast food restaurants and cereal on children's televisions.


Obesity in children is as a result of the relation of environmental factors and a lot of genetics. There are over two hundred genes that control weight by influencing the activity level, body type, food preferences, and metabolism. A child who possesses two copies of the allele known as FTO is more likely to suffer from obesity and diabetes (Manco, 2012).

Most Impactful Determinant of Obesity in Children

In my own conclusion, the most impactful determinant of obesity in children is individual behavior as mothers are becoming more career-oriented and thus leaving their babies to be nursed using infant formula foods. The physical environment is also a major determinant of obesity among children as children can easily access vending machines and access some of the unhealthy foods.

How Epidemiologic Data Supports the Significance of obesity in children

(Adela Hruby, 2016) indicates that overweight and obesity among children is an epidemic that will present a significant challenge to the chronic disease prevention. Being triggered by the growth in economy, industrialization, urbanization and increasing sedentary lifestyle, Michigan has witnessed an increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and this will lead to a burden of disease in individuals and healthcare systems.

How Has the Data Been Used in Designing Population Health Measures and Policy Initiatives?

Policymakers face a significant problem of information overload and trying to be expert in areas where they have a little background on obesity in children. Policymakers receive both unsolicited and solicited information from people and organizations that deal with obesity in children in Michigan. Trying to make sense of the extensive amount of information is very demanding even for the policymakers with expertise. Epidemiologist plays a critical role which is geared to help policymakers get derive sense from all information provided to them. Epidemiologists provide objectives, straightforward simple data that is designed to aid in the debate of policymakers. Epidemiologists' evidence is the sources of evidence that policymakers use of instead of long reports and research (Rosenbaum, 2007).


Hill, J. O. (2003). Obesity and the environment: where do we go from here? Science, 853-855.

Manco, M. &. (2012). Genetics of pediatric obesity. obesity., 123-133.

Matthews. (2007). Children and obesity: a pan-European project examining the role of food marketing. European journal of public health, 7-11.

Rosenbaum, M. (2007). Epidemiology of pediatric obesity. Pediatric annals, 89-95.

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