What are the causes of childhood obesity? Too many Calories? Fast food? Eating habits? Genetic? In fact there could be several reasons why children have an obesity problem.
Children obesity is one of the most serious problems facing the world. How to manage this problem is one of the most difficult challenges faced by health care professionals. So Mom, it is time to consider seriously child obesity prevention.
Childhood Obesity Facts
In the last four decades studies show that about 400 million people worldwide are overweight and about 10% of them are children. Children suffering from childhood obesity have a high chance of having several diseases like heart problems, stroke, diabetes, school and social discrimination, fatigue and emotional trauma or depression. Overweight is nowadays considered a global epidemic.
So listen up parents! There is an urgency to find out the causes of childhood obesity.
It’s a pity that there are many children worldwide who die for not having to eat, when there are many other children who eat too much.
Today, most children no longer play outside. They spend much time at home watching TV, playing video games and computer. One in four children does not participate in any physical activity.
Some moms consider that having children a little chubby is a sign that they eat well and are healthy, but most likely they are wrong, and indeed the fat has nothing to do with the health of your child. They may be suffering a serious obesity problem.
It’s alarming how children and adolescents are having diabetes (type 2) due to overweight.
An obese child can develop high cholesterol and high blood pressure, causing heart disease.
Causes of Childhood Obesity
The main cause of obesity in Childhood is that too much calories are ingested (through food or beverages) and too few calories are expended (through physical activity). And, there is one physiological solution, there must be a balance of calories consumed and the amount used, it is that simple. However, living in a place where there is a lack of healthy food choices, is a challenge for parents and even for health care professionals.
There are other causes related to childhood obesity such as:
- Fast Food: There is definitely a close relation between fast food and children obesity. Fast food industry claims that their foods do not cause obesity, but how come is that possible if fast food is typically served in large serving sizes, right? And how is possible that these large sizes of food can have a balanced diet? Hard to believe, right?Think of “pizza by slice”, restaurants are selling pizza slices with the size of a plate.
I believe that Fast Food is one of the causes of childhood obesity because it has very little nutrition. So moms, it’s up to us to stop fast food intake and give to our children more healthy food choices.
- Sedentary Life Style: Lifestyle of parents influence in the risk of developing child obesity. Sedentary lifestyle is associated with the rise of proportion of time children spend watching television, playing video games, surfing in the internet. The difference between a sedentary lifestyle and a more active lifestyle has clear adverse consequences to the increased rates of obesity.Some studies show that children in third through twelfth grade spend about 8 hours a day sitting in activities such as watching TV, computers, listening to music and playing video games. Sedentary lifestyle is reducing significantly children’s physical activity and promotes obesity.
- Family Behaviors: There are family-environmental factors as causes of childhood obesity. Eating habits of parents can cause obesity in their children. Normally if the family does not have good eating habits and a balanced diet, children are exposed to unbalanced dietary meals.Obese parents are not necessarily causes of obese children, but if there are bad eating habits, or perhaps by genetics, then it is possible to have obese children.
Child Obesity Prevention
Mom, if you have the need to control your child’s weight, here you have some easy ways to prevent obesity:
- You must encourage the intake of healthy food choices in your family (dietary). You have to create a healthful nutrition environment in your home. Causes of childhood obesity are close related to the bad family nutrition.
- Increase the daily intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes in your family diet, at least 400 grams per day.
- Reduce the intake of saturated fats and fatty acids. Do not exceed 30% of daily intake.
- Cereals such as wheat, corn, oats, rice, etc, should form the basis of a healthy diet, so that carbohydrates represent between 50% and 60% of dietary calories.
- A good family habit is to involve all members of the family in food-related activities and decide the weekly menu, prepare and cook food, etc.
- You must encourage your children’s physical activity. Preferably practicing an exercise program regularly, or arranging access to after-school or community sports. In this way, your children will spend less time watching television and the sedentary lifestyle will be reduced.