Sunday, December 2, 2007

Child Obesity And The Factors Which Produce Obesity In Children

by Donald Saunders

With obesity rates continuing to soar in in the United States it is no surprise that we are seeing a rising number of overweight and obese children. But precisely what is it that results in childhood obesity?

As is often the case there is no one cause of childhood obesity and there are various different things that account for obesity in our children.

For example, it is often the case that a child whose parents are overweight or obese will also be overweight and this suggests that there could well be an inherited or genetic factor to obesity. However, despite the fact that this is an area that is currently being investigated, no clear genetic link has been discovered yet and it is thought far more likely that it is the eating habits within the family that cause obesity rather than genetics.

In recent years there has been a marked shift in eating habits with fast food restaurants springing up on every corner, junk food available just about everywhere and the shelves of our supermarkets lined with 'convenience' foods that are usually extremely high in sugar. The days of home cooked meals are far behind us in many homes and have been superceded by microwave meals or take-away food. In fact, many parents are now opting to take their children out for a hamburger rather than to prepare a meal at home not just because it is easier than cooking but also because it saves a lot of washing up!

Additionally, we have experienced a very marked fall in activity levels for many groups of children, fuelled in no small degree by the introduction of homecomputers, video games consoles and now the ever present mobile phone. Not surprisingly, as activity levels have fallen so our children have also lost their natural ability to burn up the calories gained from eating an increasing amount of junk food.

The Internet, television, magazines and other forms of media also play an important role as they all but dominate our childrens' lives and fast food, junk food and confectionary manufacturers are not slow in jumping onto this particular bandwagon and take full advantage of the advertising opportunity provided by the media. A lot of people argue that commercials have done more to encourage the increase in child obesity that just about anything else in recent years.

There are also many social factors at play in today's world and a significant number of children nowadays simply eat as a result of boredom. They will also turn to the comfort of food whenever they are angry, stressed, anxious or depressed.

Today a great deal of research is being aimed at the causes of child obesity and its treatment and much of this is focused on solving the problem using diet and exercise once confronted with an obese child. However, with childhood obesity continuing to increase at such a disturbing rate, perhaps it is now time to attack the roots of the problem and to prevent our children from getting obese in the first place.

About the Author provides a wealth of information on obesity and is an excellent place to find the latest article about obesity including an article about fast food causing childhood obesity



Child Obesity And The Factors Which Produce Obesity In Children



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