VISTAS Counseling Families and Adults

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

An Examination of the Family's Role in Childhood Obesity

Mandy Perryman, Steve Nielsen, and Jeanne Booth


The number of children and adolescents struggling with significant weight problems and obesity is growing at an alarming rate. In the past thirty years, the number of obese children and adolescents in the United States has more than tripled (Ogden , Flegal, Carroll, & Johnson, 2002). This trend does not appear to be limited to this country, as nearly 22 million children around the world are classified as either overweight or obese (Deckelbaum & Williams, 2001). This dramatic increase has resulted in serious medical consequences with 45% of all newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes cases being children or adolescents and ever-increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with hypertension, cardiovascular problems, and sleep apnea due to overweight and obesity (Singhal, Schwenk, & Kumar, 2007). Research has also shown that these children are at a high risk for becoming obese adults (Deckelbaum & Williams, 2001, Laessle, Uhl, & Lindel, 2001; see also Baughcum, Chamberlin, Deeks, Powers, & Whitaker, 2000) and overweight girls are more likely to quit school, live in poverty and suffer unemployment as adults (Mellin , Neumark-Sztainer, Story, Ireland, & Resnnick, 2002). Despite ongoing efforts among health professionals to address this epidemic, the number of children who are obese continues to rise with no indication of improvement (Wadden, Brownell, & Foster, 2002).

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