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Polygence Scholar2023
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Shifa Haq

Class of 2026



  • "What factors contribute to overnutrition in the developed world and undernutrition in the developing world?" with mentor Boluwatiwi (Dec. 21, 2023)

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What factors contribute to overnutrition in the developed world and undernutrition in the developing world?

Started May 4, 2023

Abstract or project description

Our society today is vastly different from societies in the past, especially in terms of healthcare. As times change, so do our demands. Due to the numerous advancements that have been made in the field of medicine, many conditions and diseases that were deemed as dangerous or even deadly in the past, are now no longer considered a threat. However, this encompasses both the positive aspects of change as well as the negative. While contagious diseases may no longer be the leading cause of death, there are now many new conditions that can jeopardize one’s health, one of these conditions being child obesity. Child obesity is defined as being in or above the 95th percentile in regards to the Body Mass Index or BMI. The BMI is a metric that measures the ratio of someone’s body fat to their height and weight and then compares that with others who are within the same sex and age cohort. 

In the Western world specifically, childhood obesity is becoming an increasingly significant issue, so it's critical to comprehend its causes and effects. This review study will look at the several aspects that contribute to one's risk of developing obesity during childhood. These risk factors include diet, maternal diet, genetics, screen time, and financial status. The study will also look at the health issues that could develop in adulthood if childhood obesity is not managed. Among these problems include type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as psychological repercussions such as body dissatisfaction and the development of eating disorders. This goes to show the severity of the negative impacts of child obesity on one’s life. In response to this rising issue, many intervention programs have been implemented to help the youth avoid becoming overweight or obese. These programs aim to inform the youth about the importance of nutrition and having a balanced diet. This article will focus on a couple of these interventional programs that have been established on both the national and state scales.