What Causes Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Childhood obesity is becoming a serious problem throughout the world. The number of overweight children in the United States has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Childhood obesity is widespread in other countries around the globe as well. Unfortunately, this is an epidemic that many people still don’t want to accept. Adults should understand what causes obesity and how they can prevent it.

Many educational and government institutions around the world including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United Kingdom’s Department of Health have conducted a number of studies to better understand the causes of childhood obesity.

Why is Childhood Obesity on the Rise?

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

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There are a variety of reasons for childhood obesity. They typically boil down to poor dietary habits and a lack of physical activity. In order to treat the problem, we need to define these causes more specifically. Here is a list of some of the leading causes of this epidemic.

Parents Are Busier

Parents are their children’s first socializing agents. The dietary habits they set for their children play a huge role in their children’s lifestyles.

Parents are working longer hours and trying to juggle more things at a time. They often don’t have time to cook a nutritious meal for their families. Instead they turn to takeout and fast food.

Children grow up eating foods are very likely to gain weight. According to a study by the New York City’s Chronic Disease and Prevention Bureau, the average meal at a fast food restaurant had more nearly 1,000 calories in it. Of course, children’s meals were smaller portioned and had a smaller amount of calories, but they have been found to be equally unbalanced in terms of what children should be eating.

Many parents lack a basic understanding of nutrition themselves. Adult obesity rates continue to climb, which suggests parents are more likely to set bad standards for their children as well. Parents need to be more diligent about encouraging their children to eat healthily if they intend to be part of the solution to the childhood obesity problem.

Society Dependent on Electronics

Children in the 21st century are spending a lot more time with electronics. A study published in Obesity Research states that video games are partially responsible for the increase in childhood obesity. The study was conducted in Switzerland and found that foreign citizens were twice as likely to be obese as non-Swiss children.

The study’s authors noted that Swiss children didn’t spend nearly as much time on the television or playing video games. They suspected there may be a correlation, which led them to conduct a follow-up study. The authors noted a strong link between obesity and the amount of time children spend with electronics.

This study was conducted in 2004. Facebook and other media have since taken up a considerable amount of time in many children’s lives. These children are less likely to be physically active, which increases their odds of becoming overweight.

Decline in Physical Activity

According to a study by researchers at the University of California at San Diego, the amount of time children have spent exercising has dropped sharply over the past 20 years. The study tracked children form the age of 9 to 15. By the end of the study, less than a third of them met the benchmark goal for exercising.

Encouraging children to exercise regularly is one of the obvious solutions to the obesity problem. They need encouragement from their peers, parents and teachers to become more active.

Changes in School Menus

School cafeteria food has always had a bad rap among students. However, school lunches have only recently been studied by nutrition groups. Many schools have offered pizzas, chicken nuggets and other foods with large amounts of fat and low nutritional value.

The Obama Administration has recognized the role that options in the school cafeteria play in childhood obesity. At the beginning of 2012, the Obama Administration has launched a new bill that will reform the standards on what types of foods schools will offer to their children.

Ending the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

The childhood obesity epidemic is becoming more serious. Children who are overweight are at a much greater chance of developing diabetes, heart disease and a number of other health related issues. New measures will need to be taken by parents, Congress, schools and other agents to facilitate the change needed to nip the childhood obesity problem in the bud.

About Blog Owner

I am Atanu Majumdar, owner of the blog obesitytips4u.com. HowToReduceObesity covers articles on various obesity, Weight loss, Fitness, Diet topics. If you like This post, you can follow howtoreduceobesity on Twitter or On Facebook Or On Google PlusI am Atanu Majumdar, owner of the blog healthadvice4life.com. Healthadvice4life covers articles on various Health and wellness topics. If you like This post, you can follow healthadvice4life on Twitter or On Facebook Or On Google Plus

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