Childhood Obesity in Media vs. Research Article

To find a media article on the topic of childhood obesity, Google Scholar was used. The search included the terms “childhood obesity” and “article.” The search yielded several articles that are up to date and can be included in the media article category. In the Medical News Today article, Whiteman (2022) discusses whether the issue of childhood obesity is being taken with the seriousness it needs. The problem lies in childhood obesity not being a cosmetic issue or something that will go away with time. The main finding of the article is that over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has increased by more than two times among children and four times among adolescents (Whiteman, 2022). The adverse effects of obesity can persist into adulthood, with concerns of both US and international healthcare providers that if childhood obesity continues increasing, so will the prevalence of medical consequences that develop as a result of excessive weight. This will result in the deteriorating health of future generations and put the economy at significant risk.

The author lists the critical causes of obesity, which, in children, include the lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet rich in processed and sugar-loaded foods. With the wide availability of empty calories and liquid calories, combined with the abundance of fast food advertisements, there has been a significant change in the way children eat. Besides the increased prevalence of sedentary games, children fail to meet the recommended sixty-minute daily threshold of physical activity because they spend a lot of time sitting. Therefore, the way in which the daily lives of children have been structured makes it easier to be unhealthy and inactive. Whiteman (2022) says that parents do not take childhood obesity seriously because they do not recognize when their children are becoming overweight. It is essential that schools play a role in encouraging healthy behaviors in children and reducing the risks of them becoming overweight.

To find a peer-reviewed research article, the Walden Library database was used by entering the keyword “childhood obesity.” The articles were filtered by date of publication to select an up-to-date one. The report by Sanyaolu et al. (2019) on the public health concern over childhood and adolescent obesity. The article was published in Global Pediatric Health, which, according to its website, is an openly accessible and peer-reviewed journal focusing on health issues of children. Thus, determining whether an article is peer-reviewed is possible by visiting the website of the journal, where this information will be explicitly stated, while in some articles, this is mentioned on the first page.

The research article discusses the issue of childhood obesity, which has reached epidemic levels in the US. In 2019, around 17% of children in the country were presenting with obesity (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). The authors mention that while the complete image of all risk factors of childhood obesity remains elusive, the combination of exercise, diet, and psychological and physiological factors contributes to the development of the disease. Considering the host of challenges that come with childhood obesity, Sanyaolu et al. (2019) points out that consistent preventive methods are necessary. Specifically, they should aim to educate children and their parents and encourage appropriate diet and exercise methods to implement from a young age through adulthood. Secondary preventive strategies may include preventing a child from continuing unhealthy habits and obesity into adulthood. Thus, it is necessary to combine the primary and secondary prevention tactics to achieve the best results in battling obesity among children. In addition, the article also provides information on health implications, including both psychological and physiological comorbidities.

Both peer-reviewed research articles and the media article agree that childhood obesity is a public health issue that should be taken with increased attention and seriousness both from the public health field and individually. The format of the information is laid out differently; for example, in the media article, the information is separated into topics and includes quotes from healthcare specialists, accompanied by images and photos. The information is laid out in a simple language, with the quantitative information being presented simply and without additional over-explanations.

Importantly, key points are highlighted in bold because it is expected that a reader may not be reading the entire article due to its length. For example, the information about the levels of physical activity reduction over the last three decades is highlighted in bold so that readers understand the gravity of the problem. The sources used are diverse and reputable, such as the CDC, Harvard School of Public Health, and Medical News Today. In contrast, the research article is more complex in its presentation of information and includes many more sources compared to the media article. Besides dividing information into separate topic sections, the article also includes mentions of the methodology, informed consent and ethical approval, and other research article components that must be present. In a media article, no such components are necessary to mention.


Sanyaolu, A., Okorie, C., Qi, X., Locke, J., & Rehman, S. (2019). Childhood and adolescent obesity in the United States: A public health concern. Global Pediatric Health, 6, 2333794X19891305. Web.

Whiteman, H. (2022). Childhood obesity: Is it being taken seriously? Web.

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