With busy schedules and not enough time to eat healthy dinners, children are suffering the ramifications of unhealthy eating. Childhood obesity continues to rise each day and if something isn’t done about it children will quickly find themselves with numerous health problems. Let’s take a better look at childhood obesity and what we can do to cure, or at least help the problem get better.
· According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is approximately sixteen percent of children in the United States today that are overweight or obese. According to this study, that amount has tripled since 1980 and continues to increase yearly. In addition to this 16 percent that are already obese, another 15 percent are already at risk for becoming obese.
· It has been estimated that approximately half of the overweight school aged children and 70 percent of overweight teens will remain overweight or obese until they reach adulthood and possibly longer.
· Children in and out of schools are actually participating in less physical activity than the recommended daily minimum by the CDC.
TV and snacks could lead to obesity.
· More than 75 percent of children between the ages of six and eleven do not get the recommended minimum of three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit.
What is obesity and what’s the big deal?
Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. When the total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys, and more than 32 percent in girls your child has reached obesity. The biggest problem with obesity is that as children get older the more likely they are to retain and hold onto that extra fat they are already storing. So as obesity begins in childhood it is likely that the trend will continue as habits are hard to break. If you really don’t have any idea what overeating and obesity can do to your child this is a good chance to sit down and take some notes. Obesity:
· Can increase your chances of adult obesity
· Is the leading cause of pediatric hypertension
· Is associated with type II diabetes mellitus
· Increases your chances of heart disease
· Can increase stress on the weight bearing joints
· Lowers self esteem
· Can cause high blood pressure and some forms of cancer
· Can create various sleep problems
· Can also affect all types of relationships; friendships, romance, and family
What causes childhood obesity?
There are several different factors that come into play when it comes to childhood obesity. Your child could be eating too many calories compared to the amount of physical activity they do, or it could be that they’re just not eating the right foods. Let’s look at four different factors of childhood obesity:
1. Lack of physical Activity. It is sad to say but most of the children today spend their leisure time watching the television or playing on the computer. This is one of the reasons that there are so many obese children. It takes little physical effort to turn the TV on and sit there watching it. Your child should be getting at least thirty minutes of physical activity each day.
2. Heredity. Some children are unfortunately prone to becoming obese because of genetics. There is no way of knowing for sure which gene it is that influences the most obesity but studies have proven that heredity has shown to influence fatness and response to overeating.
3. Family. The risk of children becoming obese is greater among children who have obese parents. They may be because of genetics or it may be due to a lack of nutritional meals and exercise.
Hopefully this article will give you a better look at childhood obesity and why it’s so important to catch it early and not let it escalate into adulthood. Parents are responsible in rearing their children, teaching them how to eat healthy, and helping them get the physical exercise they need.