Literature Review On Child Poverty Affecting Lifestyle Leading To Obesity Causing Diabetes

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Obesity, Social Issues, Family, Children, Health, Poverty, Energy, Food

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/28

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Childhood poverty and obesity are closely linked topics, both that are serious issues related to child wellbeing and goodness. Poverty itself is a phenomenon that brings with it a myriad of problems, majorly health related because finances are needed in the current world in order to keep up with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet as well as for securing mental peace and health. With trends noticed in the past and present of the prevailing poverty amongst individuals, especially in children, the rate of obesity amongst them as well as then the forthcoming problem of incurring Type 2 diabetes has been on the rise. The sole blamable entity for that is poverty in children, their homes and their consequent lifestyles which cause the problem becoming overweight and hence subject to diseases. In general, the reasons stand that children coming from poorer backgrounds have issues such as illiterate parents, low incomes, lack of resources, unbalanced diets and monotonous lifestyles that result in children turning obese or overweight.
According to Skelton et al., (2009)in their article on Prevalence and Trends of Severe Obesity among US Children and Adolescents, from the years 1999-2004, around 3.8% of children of ages 2-19 had a BMI of equal or greater than 99, which prevailed higher in boys than in girls, ranging from 4.6% as compared to 2.9% in girls. The prevalence of obesity was higher among the blacks, about 5.7%, then the Mexican Americans 5.2% as compared to the whites 3.1%. A BMI greater than 40 was found in children and adolescents aged twelve to nineteen with similar associations between race and poverty Rates of severe childhood obesity have tripled in the last 25 years, with significant differences by race, gender, and poverty. They found that the rates were higher among those children who are frequently underserved by the health care system.
The study conducted found that there was a direct relation between the race of the children, their class, finances and the facilities they had access to in order to avail the services required for their health. The issue remains that the black race is one that has suffered from poverty the most and that their health sector has not been the most benefitted one. There is ample carelessness from the parents’ sides because they are well busy taking care of finances, and their livelihood that they can hardly make ends meet. Moreover, there is the issue of the number of children that the black race tends to have which is mostly quite large enough for their family size and income.It also carries the issue that there is more tension and stress which is responsible for the bodily changes in individuals and leading cause of diabetes. There is also a problem of the genetic ability of children to become obese which is carried with them from the generations. However, if not completely, but partially the issue could be solved with proper health care and management in their dietary needs and care. But since that too requires money in order to seek such health from a nutritionist, their health goes unwatched, and many children then are left obese or overweight.The amount of boys affected is greater because boys tend to have larger appetites, and since they eat unhealthy food, their BMI is bound to exceed the normal limit.The article compares the BMIs of different races and the race most actively involved in work, and better income has lower obesity and diabetes rate.
Wealthier families can provide better facilities. However, the problem with poorer families is their income and resources, the neighborhoods they live in and the exercise facility available. Becoming obese is inevitable hence children are prone to diabetes which can occur by lack of exercise. Income determines lifestyle, resources, and the kind of diet that the children would consume. Apart from the genetic issue, the others are in control of the parents, hence, if there are no resources, then poverty overcomes health any day and that is one leading cause of obesity and diabetes in children who are born in less fortunate homes. It is also true of Case et al., to say that with the passing time, the problems with the children continue because their status and health problems remain constant.
In Poverty and obesity: the role of energy density and energy costs, Drewnoski and Specter (2004)discuss the role of health issues associated with inequality of income and education. The review focuses on the relation between obesity and diet quality, dietary energy density, and energy costs.The highest rates of obesity occur among population groups with the highest poverty rates and the least education. Second, there is an inverse relation between energy density and energy cost such that energy-dense foods composed of refined grains, added sugars, or fats may represent the lowest-cost option for the consumer. Third, the high energy density and palatability of sweets and fats are associated with higher energy intakes, at least in clinical and laboratory studies. Fourth, poverty and food insecurity are associated with lower food expenditures, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and lower-quality diets. A reduction in diet costs in linear programming models leads to high-fat, energy-dense diets that are similar in composition to those consumed by low-income groups. Such diets are more affordable than are prudent diets based on lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit. The case being discussed by the writers is here of the relation of income to that of health and related issues. Education also has a role to play in it. Studies reveal that the poorest areas have the highest rates of obesity. A point noticeable is that there are no measures taken to help these people instead the cheaper food is made in abundance which is purely unhealthy, and it is consumed rapidly by children. Poorer children who consume such foods become overweight, that coupled with lower exercise, and stressful living conditions makes them prone to be diabetic.
ConclusionThe literature review from the various sources has shown by research and analysis that the relationship between poverty, low incomes, and fewer resources is directly proportional to the rate of obesity amongst children from such households. There are more chances that these children will become diabetic or suffer from heart disease as they grow older. There are other reasons related to this such as the sedentary lifestyle of the children, the parents’ lack of education and the lack of finances to purchase healthy food for them. Also, poorer parents cannot afford to give their children the standard healthcare they require if they become unhealthy because of the obvious money problems. The limitations of the research were the obvious factors of going far enough because certain studies were only conducted in labs or done with a few people in the hand. Some of them were done without having a control factor. Also, comparison of the rich and poor in providing the healthcare is obvious because of the medical costs and facilities. What is really worthy of mentioning is that there are many cases where poorer children are also found to have rationed foods for consumption so there isn’t a likely chance that they would get obese. However, if they do, would there be other reasons behind it, possibly medical reasons that have not been identified? Moreover, there are many cases where people who inherit obesity cannot be treated for it no matter how far they go with medical help, so does be rich or poor help in that case? The research basically implies that poverty is a factor for obesity, so if the government and healthcare facilities realize that the poor cannot afford to seek treatment, then shouldn’t there be funds for their medical checkup and care. If these are provided, then poverty would no longer remain a reason for obesity that would lead to diabetes in children.


AnnFammed. (2007). Obesity and Diabetes in Vulnerable Populations : Reflection on Proximal and Distal Causes.Retrieved (17 April, 2015) from
CDC. (2015). Healthy Youths: Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved (17 April, 2015) from
DiabetesJournals. (1999). Diabetes Risk Factors in Low-Income Mexican-American children. Retrieved (17 April, 2015) from
Dietz, William H. (1998).Childhood Weight Affects Adult Morbidity and Mortality. American Society for Nutritional Services. Retrieved (17 April, 2015) from
Drewnoski, Adam, Specter, SE. (2004).Poverty and Obesity: the role of energy density and energy costs.American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved (17 April, 2015) from
Skelton et al., (2009).Prevalence and trends of severe obesity among US children and adolescents.Academic Pediatrics. Retrieved (17 April, 2015) from

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WePapers. (2021, February, 28) Literature Review On Child Poverty Affecting Lifestyle Leading To Obesity Causing Diabetes. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
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Literature Review On Child Poverty Affecting Lifestyle Leading To Obesity Causing Diabetes. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 28, 2021. Accessed June 26, 2022.

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