Sunday, July 13, 2014

Family Environment

The family environment has the potential for the greatest influence on a child. One challenge that must be considered when educating families is socioeconomic status. Families with less money to spend on food must consider price point and sadly, fresh fruits and vegetables and good quality meats are often more expensive than lower quality boxed and canned foods, or quick foods like chips and other snacks.

Another challenge that should be considered is cultural effects, such as the predisposition to overweight and obesity. For example, obesity is prevalent here in the Hawaiian Islands. This is partly because of eating behaviors, but also because Native Hawaiians have a genetic predisposition to being overweight and obese (Brown, Gotshalk, Katzmarzyk & Allen, 2011). If I were to develop a program specific to this population, it would be prudent to consider this and other factors, such as Hawaiians use food as social communication. Further, Native Hawaiians, who make up only 10% of the Hawaiian population are subjected to constant discrimination, which has been linked to BMI (Antonio, 2010). These factors, among others, would be important to consider when developing a program to decrease weight in Hawaiian children or their families, emphasizing, once again, the complexity of developing weight loss programs. 

Brown, D. E., Gotshalk, L. A., Katzmarzyk, P. T., & Allen, L. (2011). Measures of adiposity in two cohorts of Hawaiian school children. Annals Of Human Biology, 38(4), 492-499. doi:10.3109/03014460.2011.560894

Antonio, M. K., & Mccubbin, L. D. (2012). Relationship Between Discrimination and Obesity Among Native Hawaiians. Washington, District of Columbia, US: American Psychological Association (APA).

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