Online Custom «Middle Childhood Obesity in the UAE» Essay Sample

Middle Childhood Obesity in the UAE


As children grow and go through different stages of development, they experience various physical body changes. The middle and late childhood are critical stages of growth. Therefore, it is important to monitor the changes in children’s organisms or health to ensure that they are developing as expected. Notably, in the middle and late childhood, people acquire new knowledge and abilities since both their brains and motor skills undergo critical improvement. In addition, the tempo of growth and development during these periods of life can be slow or calm just before children become adolescents. It is expected that children gain about from two to three inches to their height annually during middle childhood. However, various health problems like obesity may have crucial impact on their growth and development. Studies have revealed that childhood obesity was one of the most dangerous and common health issues that affected the growth and development of children in countries with rapidly developing and developed economies.

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The United Arab Emirates belongs to the countries that the problem of middle childhood obesity affected in the recent past. Thus, middle childhood obesity impedes the growth and development of children in the UAE, thus, causing health problems in them. Therefore, studying the situation of the children in the region may provide critical information that can help in examining the problem and giving recommendations. The fact that childhood obesity is one of the most serious health issues among the growing children has attracted the attention of researchers from different parts of the world. The discussion of this topic is important since it may result in implementing recommendations, which can assist in solving the problem of childhood obesity and improving the health and lives of children from various countries.

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The Importance of the Topic

Santrock (2016) states that in the middle and late childhood, children are less likely to face death from diseases as compared to other developmental and growth stages. However, the studies have also revealed that in the middle childhood, children experienced serious health problems that might affect their development. Middle childhood period lasts from the age of 6 to 12 for a person. It is important to note that this stage is a critical one since it is the stage where children’s brains, bodies, and motor skills undergo several positive changes. In middle childhood, growth and development promote the improvement of motor skills; in addition, during this period, people’s brains as well as their cognitive abilities develop (Santrock, 2016). Taking into account the fact that obesity is one of the most serious health issues that affect children at this stage of growth, one can reasonably deduce that the subject requires profound research since there is a need to address the issue. This paper focuses on the United Arab Emirates since it belongs to the one of the most developed regions that have recorded high number of children suffering from obesity. Therefore, the study may be used to make conclusions and generalize available information about the issue.

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Some of the most serious consequences of obesity and overweight among children include hypertension, psychological problems, diabetes, high level of blood cholesterol, risk of facing cardiovascular disease due to increased body mass index, and low self-esteem among others (Santrock, 2016). It is also important to note that obesity may affect children’s learning abilities through the mental, social, and psychological problems that they face on a daily basis. Concerning social sphere, obese children tend to be the victims of ridicule and, thus, have low self-esteem.

Cognitive Changes Theories

Piaget’s Theory

Piaget posits that children of the preschool or middle age are talented learners and can reason well. However, magical beliefs and egocentric nature affect children’s cognitive abilities and understanding. In other words, Piaget states that the cognitive abilities of the children in the middle childhood are low. Piaget’s theory tries to explain children’s development using concrete operational stage. According to him, the stage lasts from the age of seven to eleven; during it, a child grows. The scientist assumes that children should be able to reason and classify objects in the middle childhood (Santrock, 2016). However, he does not consider that other environmental, social, psychological, and emotional factors may affect the cognitive abilities and learning processes among the children at the middle childhood stage. The theory assumes that there are specific activities and things that the children who have reached concrete operational stage must know; it implies that there are no factors that can affect child’s development and abilities to learn and reason. The theory is important for this study since it concerns children’s development and the physical and mental changes that kids undergo while passing from early childhood to the middle childhood and adulthood. Piaget’s theory sought to explain that children’s cognitive development determined the way, in which they learnt to understand themselves and their immediate environments. Therefore, middle childhood obesity is likely to affect children’s learning experience and their understanding since it has significant impact on the cognitive processes as well.

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Robbie Case’s Theory

Robbie Case claimed that Jean Piaget did not manage to complete his theory since he did not fully explain what happened to children’s cognitive abilities while they grew. Piaget’s conclusion did not explain why cognitive abilities of children changed as they moved from one developmental stage to another. To improve the theory, Case had created a model of four structural blocks to show different developmental stages that children went through. He named the four structures the executive control structures. According to the theory, they enable an individual to identify problems, set objectives, and formulate solutions for solving these problems. The paradigm states that there are sensorimotor, inter-relational, dimensional, and vectorial structures. The theory acknowledges the fact that children undergo memory expansion as they grow up. In addition, in the middle childhood, they develop their cognitive abilities due to facing different changes. Therefore, it is important for children to stay healthy for the processes to be successful. However, a problem like obesity may affect child’s cognitive abilities due to the related challenges.

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According to the study by AlBlooshi et al. (2016), childhood obesity is one of the most serious health issues in the world today. AlBlooshi et al. (2016) present the findings of the investigation that was conducted to study the spread of middle childhood obesity in the United Arab Emirates. The authors used body mass index analysis method to investigate cases of obesity in children aged from 6 to 16. The research based on CDC methods revealed that the prevalence of obesity among the children was 8% while that of overweight was 17%. The scientists also conducted the study, which focused on children of age from 5 to 17, and used the IOTF method; the results were different. Based on this study, 22% were overweight while 14% suffered from obesity (AlBlooshi et al., 2016). Even though the usage of these methods had led to different results, the fact that obesity became a serious issue in the region was clear.

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The study by Sahoo et al. (2015) focused on data from different countries around the world to establish that middle childhood obesity was not the problem of only developed countries; it also affected the developing ones. The study established that young children faced different physical, psychological, and mental changes as they grew. Like an epidemic, obesity affects the abilities of the children since it interferes with their health. In addition, the study found that children who suffered from obesity in the middle childhood were likely to develop other illnesses, for example, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension among others. They are also likely to remain obese when they become older. The authors highlight the fact that obesity affects children’s mental and physical health, social well-being, and self-esteem.

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The study by AlBlooshi et al. (2016) revealed that the overweight prevailed over obesity in the United Arab Emirates. However, both of these problems are serious, and the government and other stakeholders must seek to solve them. According to the studies that were conducted, obesity and overweight are common for children due to their lifestyles and diets. According to the findings, the number of cases of obesity, overweight, and extreme obesity was relatively high among the children. The study used CDC and IOTF methods to provide the statistics, which proved that the rates had been increasing as compared to the previous data. The result for a sample of children whose age ranged from 6 to 16 was 8% while that for children from 5 to 17 was 14% (AlBlooshi et al., 2016).

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Sahoo et al. (2015) found that obesity and overweight are an epidemic that is not unique for developed countries. Instead, the problem is characteristic even to the developing ones. The study provides health overview while focusing on chronic diseases like obesity and their impact on children’s growth. According to the study, the number of children with obesity who are below the age of five was about 42 million by 2010 globally. 35 million of them were people who lived in the developing countries. The number of children whose age ranged from 5 to 18 was also higher in the developing countries than in the developed ones (Sahoo et al., 2015). The study identified wrong nutrition and low level of physical activity as some of the common causes of childhood obesity. Finally, it provides recommendations that may be implemented to solve the problem. The authors suggest that overcoming the nutrition problems and promoting physical exercises can help to control childhood obesity.












In conclusion, middle childhood obesity impedes the growth and development of children in the UAE. It also causes numerous health problems in them. Based on the research, middle childhood obesity is an epidemic that has affected children in various parts of the world. The United Arab Emirates is one of the countries that faced the obesity crisis. Different studies have shown that middle childhood obesity spread steadily increased in the recent past. Available data show that this situation threatens children’s health and development. Middle childhood obesity refers to the obesity that affects children of the age from nine to eleven. In the middle childhood, they undergo critical growth and developmental changes that may affect their entire lives. For instance, children experience physical growth, memory improvement, development of cognitive abilities, learning processes, and skills.

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Even though children rarely face the danger of dying from diseases at this stage of development, other factors may affect their growth. The study has identified obesity as one of the most common health issues that affected the life of children in the middle childhood. It is worth noting that obesity brings various complications, which include diabetes, hypertension, low self-esteem, high cholesterol level, and cardiovascular diseases. It is also important to understand that obesity may cause emotional, social, psychological, and mental problems in the middle-aged children. The cognitive abilities of children with obesity may also be affected. Jean Piaget and Robbie Case are the scholars who proposed the theories to explain children’s development. Even though the theorists assumed that children got different skills and abilities as they grew, they ignored the fact that factors like obesity might affect the growth and development of children.

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The studies recommend addressing the issue of middle childhood obesity through providing right nutrition of the children. It is important for both parents and teachers to control the diets of children since most cases of obesity are attributed to diet problems. What is more, children must be encouraged to stay active and train their bodies. Parents need to control the lifestyles of children in the middle childhood.

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