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Childhood Obesity

More children are obese or overweight nowadays than ever before. This is not a statistic or trend to be proud of and it should make the population worry. It is obvious that something is wrong if a country has a 15% obesity rate and if at 20% more are already overweight and at risk of becoming obese. In order to find solutions it is necessary to know what the problems are and what causes them in the first place. There is no time to be lost in finding answers, because the problem is growing at a rapid rate and the results will one day be devastating since obesity is a main cause of severe health disorders and problems like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as strokes. This makes it a national problem since it is the health care companies that will have to pay for these problems and that affects everyone who is paying, on top of the fact that we are talking about children and that it is just plain better for them to be happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.

What problems have caused such high rates of childhood obesity?

There are many factors that contribute to childhood obesity. One of the problems is that in order to keep up with bills that most families have both parents working full time jobs. This does not leave a lot of time for other things, like household chores, shopping for fresh foods, cooking healthy meals and spending quality time outside with the children. This means that children come from school to an empty home and then have to occupy themselves and make their own meals. Since children are not born cooks and the parents don’t have time to make fresh meals, the children of today live from fast food, frozen food, canned food and sweets. This is not a healthy diet and all of those foods are known for the calories, saturated fat and high salt content.

Of course once home, the parents do not want their children going out without supervision and getting into trouble. To solve this, many children have their own TV, computer, portable game console and regular video game console. This means that instead of going outside for a walk, participating in sports or playing games with friends that the children sit inside all day long and play video games or watch television. While sitting and playing games, they also tend to munch on chips, chocolate or cookies. All these factors together lead to childhood obesity and then health problems.

Another problem that had been determined to be a cause of obesity is the genetic background. If the genes are causing weigh troubles, there is not much that can be done. However, that is not an excuse. It just means that you will have to be extra careful about what you eat and make sure that the children take part in sports on a regular basis. There are many cases where there is genetic obesity in a family, but those that want to break that cycle have been successful in doing so.

What are the consequences of childhood obesity and what can be done?

Children that are obese and overweight go through many discomforts and health problems that only adults used to experience. Once the weight stays and obesity sets in, it is very hard for the children to start changing their habits. The heart problems, extra weight and bad physical condition make any kind of physical activity almost impossible and that deters from participating in sports. If nothing is done over the years, those that have gone through childhood obesity will develop heart disease, cholesterol and blood pressure problems, diabetes, liver problems, bone and joint troubles and even asthma and shortness of breath caused by the bad physical condition. The problems are not just physical though and very often obese children end up with depression. Another little known fact is that childhood obesity causes early maturity and that leads to higher expectations of the parents who think that if a child looks like a grown up then they should also act like one.

There are many solutions to this national problem. It is up to the parents to take the first step though and they have to make radical lifestyle and eating changes. For one, the time should be spent to learn about healthy cooking. Parents and children should go to a produce market together and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, which can also be eaten as healthy snacks throughout the day. Once there is more energy and maybe even a few pounds less, the child is so enrolled in some kind of sports club. Games that require running, like soccer and basketball, may be too much at first and that is why it is better to start with badminton, baseball or best of all – swimming. Another change that parents should make is to cut down the amount of time allowed to be spent playing video games or watching TV. Parents should also not promote a good deed or characteristic with candy or give the children candy to be quiet. Other ways of dealing with behavior have to be found and there are many other ways to treat a good child. For example, a day trip to an amusement park or tickets to a live sports game. Schools could also do more to fight childhood obesity. Instead of cutting down the times children have gym class, it should be increased. In schools where a lot of obese children are, there should be also special gym classes aimed towards them and which they are capable of participating in. This may end up being fun and start a good habit.

Childhood obesity is nowadays a major problem and it is unique to our times. There are many reasons that this has become a national problem and there are also many ways to solve it. It is not a problem that is solved overnight and both parents and children have to create a plan and stay with it.

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1 Comment(s)

By: Guest 8 years ago
things that can be done are parents helping their children stay healthy and eating healthier foods. i think also excersice is something wlse that is good for their bodies so they dont become obese. this problem takes some time and patience for solving it.

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