One day I went shopping to buy some clothes but everything I tried on did not fit the way I wanted them to so I followed my conscience and began a diet and exercise program. It wasn’t easy but as an adult I had a choice in how I dealt with the situation. Children who suffer from obesity or are on their way to being obese do not have those choices, they depend on adults to guide them in the right direction.
As I examined my reasons for weight gain I was able to pinpoint exactly where I went wrong. When dealing with children and obesity the age-old question exists, why are children obese? According to research about thirty percent of young children ranging in ages 2 -19 are obese. The reasons aren’t just due to a lack of physical activity, there are other reasons, mainly diet and heredity.
Let’s look at diet, the availability of junk food (cookies, candy, chips etc.,) and beverages such as soft drinks and juices contain an enormous amount of sugar that contribute to an unhealthy diet. In order to change their lifestyle and eating patterns parents and caregivers must take an active role by adjusting the way children eat. In today’s society families don’t have a lot of time to prepare healthy meals due to hectic schedules, as a result they are cooking less and eating out more.
Heredity or genetics is another factor that puts children at a greater risk for obesity, this means they have inherited the genes from parents causing them to gain weight more easily. There are many causes for childhood obesity but lack of physical activity, poor diet and genetics are the main ones.
Obesity puts children at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. These diseases follow children and affects them in adulthood. Addressing these issues is important if we are to make any headway in the fight against obesity.