As most everyone knows, childhood obesity is on the rise in America. It is estimated that tens of millions of children are either overweight or obese. What is the cause of this so-called epidemic? And how can parents and the medical world take control to lower the incidence of childhood obesity?
First of all, it is important to note that children, like adults, must burn the calories they consume. Of course, children, who are still growing, do need a little bit extra calorie-wise, to maintain proper growth. However, they do not need those calories from fast food and candy; rather, nutritious choices have fallen by the wayside in our on-the-go culture.
Couple the rise in junk food consumption with an ever-more sedentary lifestyle, sustained by the continued advent of new computer and video games, and there is a rise in childhood obesity. Just like adults, children must burn off excess calories. So, if a child is eating two thousand calories a day of junk food, and then never even breaking a sweat playing in the yard, it is no wonder that childhood obesity is a problem.
There are certain steps that parents can take to help ward off those excess pounds. Make nutritious choices for your children; left to their own devices, it is unlikely that children will choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over sugar and fatty foods. Childhood obesity is an issue for anyone who does not insist that the entire family eat well-rounded meals.
If nothing else, understand that childhood obesity causes a number of other problems, physically and emotionally. Diseases once mostly seen in adults, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and the like, are now much more prevalent in children. This is directly linked to childhood obesity, in that the excess weight causes such strain on the body. Likewise, emotional trauma is endured by the teasing from the non-obese peers of overweight children. This can have lasting effects.
Overall, childhood obesity is a problem that is facing millions of families. The good news is that it can be fought and defeated, beginning at home. Only serve nutritious meals and snacks and encourage children to play and exercise. Perhaps one of the best ways to start fighting childhood obesity at home is to set a good example for your children. In this way, the whole family can enjoy healthier bodies and healthier lives.