Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat
has accumulated which may have an adverse effect on
health, leading to reduced life expectancy, and/or
increased health problems. When a person’s body
mass index exceeds 30 kg/m sq., the individual is
considered to be obese. (Obesity 2013)
Who does obesity affect?
Obesity affects Everyone!
(Obesity affects males and females, as well as children and
Obesity is common, serious and costly
More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese.
Obesity affects some groups more than others: Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted
rates of obesity (49.5%) compared with Mexican Americans (40.4%), all Hispanics (39.1%) and nonHispanic whites (34.3%).
Obesity and socioeconomic statuses:
• Non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men with higher incomes are more likely to be obese
than those whose income is lower.
• Low-income women are more likely to be obese than women with higher income.
• There is no overwhelming correlation between obesity and the level of education in men.
However, there is a trend in women with college degrees who are less likely to be obese than less
educated women. The prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels
between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008. (Obesity and Overweight for Professionals…)
What are the Treatment Options for
• The main purpose of obesity treatment is to reach and maintain
a healthy weight. You can begin by eating better and increasing
activity. In doing so, you will start to feel better and see
improvements in your health. Working with a team of health
professionals may help. Professionals, such as nutritionists,
dietitians, therapists or obesity specialists can help you
understand and modify your eating and activity habits. All
weight-loss programs involve adjusting your eating habits and
expanding your physical activity. To choose the correct
treatment methods for a particular person, it will depend on the
person’s level of obesity, overall health, and willingness to
participate in your weight-loss plan. Other treatment tools
Exercise and activity
Prescription weight-loss medications
Weight-loss surgery (Mayo Clinic staff)
Dietary changes, such as reducing calories and
eating healthier, are critical to conquering obesity. It
is important to lose weight slow and steady. Long
term weight loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week is
considered the safest way to lose weight and the
best way to keep it off permanently. Avoid crash
diets. Drastic and unrealistic diet changes rarely
help you to keep extra weight off in the long term.
(Mayo Clinic staff)
Dietary ways to overcome obesity
• A low-calorie diet.
• Feeling full on less: Eat larger portions of foods with fewer
calories. This will help you feel less hungry, consume fewer
calories, and feel better about what you have ate, which
will ultimately lead you to feel satisfied overall.
• Adopting a healthy-eating plan: Eat more plant-based
foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain
carbohydrates. Lean sources of protein should be
emphasized. Cut down on salt and added sugar. Eat small
amounts of fats.
• Meal replacements. These plans advise that you substitute
one or two meals with their products — such as low-calorie
shakes or meal bars. (Mayo Clinic staff)
Exercise and Activity
Increased physical activity and exercise are also a crucial part
of obesity treatment. Getting regular exercise, even simply
walking, has helped individuals to keep their healthy weight
loss for more than a year.
Exercise: The American College of Sports Medicine suggests
that those who are overweight or obese get at least 150
minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity to
prevent further weight gain or to lose a modest amount of
weight. Although a person may need to get as much as 250 to
300 minutes of exercise a week for significant weight loss.
Increase your daily activity: Any extra movement helps burn
calories. (Mayo Clinic staff)
• Behavior changes, such as a behavior
modification program can help you make changes
in your lifestyle, shed weight and keep it off.
Examine your current habits to find out what
factors, stresses, or situations may have
contributed to your obesity. Behavior
modification, or behavior therapy, can include:
• Support groups (Mayo Clinic staff)
Prescription Weight-loss Medication
Prescription weight-loss medication should be used along
with diet, exercise, and behavior changes. Choosing to
use medication instead of them is unlikely to work.
Prescription weight-loss medications your doctor may
• Orlistat (Xenical).
• Lorcaserin (Belviq).
• Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia).
• Phentermine (Adipex-P, Suprenza).
While taking a prescription weight-loss medication, you
may need close medical monitoring. (Mayo Clinic staff)
• Weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is an
option in some cases. Although weight-loss surgery
presents the opportunity to lose the most weight, it can still
pose serious risks. Weight-loss surgery for obesity may be
• You have extreme obesity, with a body mass index (BMI) of
40 or higher
• Your BMI is 35 to 39.9, and you also have a serious weightrelated health problem, such as diabetes or high blood
• You have committed to a lifestyle that allows the surgery to
Common weight-loss surgeries include:
• Gastric bypass surgery.
• Gastric Sleeve
• Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. (Mayo Clinic
How is a Child with Obesity Affected
in the Classroom?
• No one knows for certain why obesity and
school performance are related, or whether
one directly causes the other.
• Various studies have discovered that obese
students, especially girls, tend to have lower
test scores than their non-obese peers. They
are also more likely to be held back a grade
and are less likely to pursue college. (Amanda
Rebecca London, Ph.D., a senior researcher at Stanford
University's Gardner Center for Youth and Their
Communities, in Stanford, California, asks the question, "Is it
the actual state of obesity -- those extra pounds -- that
are somehow influencing students' achievement, or is
it something related to the obesity but not the actual
pounds?” The following are related to obesity and
may be causing students to perform poorly in school:
Children's social skills
Stigmatization (Amanda Gardner, Health)
• It may also be possible that health problems
associated with obesity may cause students to
perform poorly in the classroom, such as:
• Sleep Disorders
Robert Siegel, M.D. states: “Excess weight or physical
inactivity might sap a child's brainpower at the cellular
level, by causing inflammation and other harmful
biological processes. Obesity affects virtually every organ
system in the body, including the brain. It's an
inflammatory state, and that may have effects on the
developing mind.” (Amanda Gardner, Health)
• How do you, as a teacher, best meet the needs of a child with obesity?
Teachers can be positive role models and help promote healthy eating and
-Eat only healthful meal and snack options in view of students.
-Choose not to reward students with unhealthy food.
-Provide opportunities for physical activity. Encourage noncompetitive
activities such as dancing that emphasize participation as well as social
interaction with peers.
-Reduce sedentary behavior with enriched school environments. It is critical
for teachers to use active instruction integrated into a “whole-child” balanced
curriculum. Music and movement integrated into academic lessons are
attention grabbing and add extra minutes of physical activity to a child’s day.
A “move to learn” curriculum approach can significantly increase physical
activity of children.
-Teachers can collaborate with school nurses, dieticians, and health personnel
to help use techniques to promote children’s health.
-Make any needed accommodations for students with obesity such as
preferential seating. (Assn for Childhood Education International)
Amanda Gardner, Health. “Does obesity affect school performance? – CNN.com” Does
Obesity Affect School Performance. 14 June 2012. Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting
System, Inc., 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013. http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/14/health/obesityaffect-school-performance/index.html
Assn for Childhood Education International. “Childhood Obesity and Testing: What Teachers
Can Do | TeachHUB” Childhood Obesity and Testing: What Teachers Can Do. K-12 Teachers
Alliance. 2009-2013. We. 23 Oct. 2013. http://www.teachhub.com/childhood-obesity-testingwhat-teachers-can-do
Mayo Clinic staff. “Obesity: Treatments and drugs – MayoClinic.com” Treatments and Drugs.
13 July 2013. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research., 1998-2013. Web. 23
Oct. 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=treatments-anddrugs
“Obesity 2013” Obesity 2013. 5 Feb. 2013. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
“Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Data and Statistics: Adult Obesity – DNPAO –
CDC” 16 August 2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.