Child Obesity Causes

Child Obesity Causes

There are two primary child obesity causes: poor diet and lack of physical activity. These are not the only two, but they are the main reasons why children are becoming obese at an alarming rate.

When you turn on the television, you frequently see reports about obese children and the role society plays. School systems have been evaluating the nutrition content of school lunches and vending machine foods. Fast food restaurants say they are expanding their menus to include healthy foods, but that doesn't mean parents are buying those items.

Children who have not been taught how to make good nutritional choices will usually eat the same things their friends are eating, and most snacks in vending machines are loaded with sugar, fat and carbohydrates.

Aggravating the situation is the fact that technology has created a society that is more sedentary. Children used to go outside and play but now sit for hours in front of the television or playing video games. Many after school sports programs have been reduced or eliminated in schools due to lack of funding. As children become teenagers they become even less active.

Fueling Growth

The nutrients a child consumes should be enough to maintain good health, fuel growth and provide energy for physical activity. When a child snacks on unhealthy foods, eats too many calories and exercises less, the result is weight gain. The number of overweight children has doubled in the last 30 years, and the trend continues upward.

A healthy lifestyle should begin at home. Parents can do many different things to help their child lose weight. First, of course, is the fact that parents should set an example by eating healthy meals and snacks themselves. They can buy nutritional snacks instead of fattening cookies and ice cream. But it is also important to not make children feel bad about themselves or to deny them all sweets.

Like most things in life, teaching moderation is the key. In addition meals should not always be eaten on the run. Fast meals tend to be made from processed foods that have a high fat and sodium content. For example, frozen prepared foods usually have breading or are frozen in gravies and sauces.

Children also need daily exercise. It is becoming more difficult to prevent a sedentary lifestyle, but encouraging your kids to participate in sports or other physical activities can increase the number of calories burned. At the very least your children should be required to play outside for at least 30 minutes to an hour a day.

There are several known child obesity causes, but the two primary ones are poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Both of these causes can be prevented with some basic planning.

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