I need some help with these questions below:
- What is the correlation between child maltreatment and obesity?
- What can we do as human services practitioners to address this problem?
- Is enough being done to address this issue? Why or why not?
SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!
1. There is a strong correlation between child maltreatment and obesity as shown in several current studies. The research shows that parental neglect is significantly correlated to increased risk of child obesity. Often due to low SES, stress, parents are neglectful of their children's nutrition.
As well, in adolescence, self-report studies show that neglect and physical and sexual abuse is relate to overweight issues. Often the teens struggle with physical self -image issues from maltreatment at home.
See: Whitaker, R. C., Phillips, S. M., Orzol, S. M., & Burdette, H. L. (2007). The association between maltreatment and obesity among preschool children. Child abuse & neglect, 31(11), 1187-1199.
Hussey, J. M., Chang, J. J., & Kotch, J. B. (2006). Child maltreatment in the United States: prevalence, risk factors, and adolescent health consequences. Pediatrics, 118(3), 933-942.
2. Human service practitioners can help address these issues by educating parents in these communities about nutrition and providing access to nutritious food rather than "fast -foods" or pre-made food items. They can also advocate for low budget grocery stores be built in these areas to increase access to healthy foods. Improve screening questionnaires and educate practitioners on trauma, conflict and maltreatment so that they can accurately identify maltreatment , so that more good is being done than harm (misdiagnosis).
3. There is significant research and awareness in the health care professions to this concern of child maltreatment that impacts body weight issues, specifically obesity. The question: Is enough being done is dependent on the area being served. Low SES still suffer greatly from this where as populations who are educated in this area are receiving adequate education, understanding, assessment and treatment ie. Kids Helpline , Crisis lines are all equipped to deal with this issue.
See: Bentley, T., & Widom, C. S. (2009). A 30-year follow-up of the effects of child abuse and neglect on obesity in adulthood. Obesity, 17(10), 1900-1905.
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