Thursday, May 15, 2008

Childhood Obesity On The Rise

Submitted By: Debra Slater

Obesity in children has doubled for children between the ages of two and five since the 1970s. Alarming is an understatement; this is traumatic. Toddlers should not be overweight and according to an article I read today, nearly half of Americas children will be obese by the end of the decade. What could be the cause: accessibility to junk food and not enough exercise. But it’s not just America having this problem; every country in the world is having to deal with this epidemic.

If a child has two obese parents, chances are they will be obese due to heredity. Children watch and learn alot from their parents. If the parents do not eat balanced diets and/or get any exercise, the child may pick up those habits. We as parents need to set good eating and exercising examples for our children so they understand the importance of doing the right things for your body.

In today’s society, life has become much easier and as a result lazier. With TV, computers and video games, kids don’t spend as much time outside. Families don’t spend that much time at the dinner table together; the faster dinner gets on the table, the better. Home cooked family meals are quickly disappearing.

Another sobering fact about an obese child is all the health problems they will experience at a young age. Type 2 diabetes, liver diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many more are supposed to be found in adults, not children. But there are more cases of these health problems showing up in children.

Parents need to pay attention to what their children are eating, not only at home, but also when they are away. We need to instill good eating habits early and set examples ourselves. Don’t buy foods with high fat content, sugar and artificial preservatives. It’s better to make cookies than to buy them from the store. Take time to make dinner, but don’t try to do it every night. Order out every once in a while.

We can change the future. Let’s help our children live long, healthy lives.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Children and Obesity

by Dean Novosat

Obesity is a growing epidemic not only in the United States, but in the rest of the world as well. And doctors are starting to notice that obesity is starting earlier and earlier in life. In the past, obesity was typically seen in people who were middle-aged or older. But now, there is a growing concern about children who are obese or are on their way to becoming obese. The reasons are varied and many but include such things as: less time outdoors and more time spent indoors; less time exercising and more time playing video games, watching TV, or time spent on the computer; and more "latchkey" kids who spend their time after school in an after school program or in day care.

As our society changes, fewer and fewer children are outside playing. I remember only 20 to 30 years ago, large number of children in the neighborhood outside after school and all summer long playing together. There were impromptu games of kick the can, hide and seek, chase, kickball, stickball, basketball, and others. Our neighborhoods were safe and all the families and parents knew each other. In today's society, parents are afraid to let their children outside to play and neighbors don't spend the time to get to know each other. This means more children and staying inside doing sedentary activities and gaining weight. This adds to the obesity problem.

The advent of computers, the internet, and video games are also exacerbating the problem of childhood obesity. Video games and computer games are readily available, easy to play, and visually stimulating and exciting. A child doesn't have to head outside and find some friends and decide on what to play. They can pop in a CD or DVD, fire up the Xbox and be transported to another place where they can play against a computer or another person that they don't know. Video games burn little to no calories and add not only to the obesity problem, but also to mental and social problems that our society also has to deal with.

We need to find a solution and find one quickly to help combat the growing problem of childhood obesity. We need to get kids outside to play. We, as humans, are designed to play, run, and be active. It is not natural for a child to sit still for hours at a time. But this is what our high tech life styles demand. Children are designed for activity and if we can get them active, we are well on our way to solving the childhood obesity problem.

About the Author
Dean Novosat writes about the problems and solutions for obesity and weight control at http://www.obesityantidote.com Obesity Antidote

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