Childhood Obesity and Maternal Smoking

This is a critique of a study, “Childhood Obesity and Maternal Smoking”.

This paper critiques a study that discusses the sensitive issue of childhood obesity and the connection between this condition and maternal smoking. This study, which appeared in the “European Journal of Pediatrics” in 2002 links smoking during pregnancy and obese children. The study is examined for its validity and precision.
“It has been recognized by scientists and medical care givers alike that childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The most severe cases, defined as children with a body mass index (BMI) for age over the 95th percentile, have almost doubled over the past 20 years. (Styne, 1999) At the same time the standard cases of obesity (BMI for age over the 85th percentile) have increased by 50%. (Styne, 1999)
This is a serious issue, as it is known that obesity in childhood usually persists into adulthood. There is a usually a strong genetic component to this phenomenon. (Styne, 1999) Childhood obesity carries its own morbidity and mortality as is seen by the increased emergence of type 2 diabetes mellitus amongst children and sudden cardiopulmonary arrest apparently caused by arrhythmias that have become frequent in children with a BMI over the 99th percentile. (Styne, 1999) Research investigating the cause of obesity in children is important in helping us find preventative measures as it has been seen that curative treatments for obesity are not overly effective. (Styne, 1999)”