Causes of Childhood Obesity

Obesity is not a consequence of excessive eating alone. There are sociological factors that primarily lead to obesity. The family and the environment in which children grow up influence children’s minds more than any other things. Researchers have found that there is a connection between poor parenting and the development of obesity in children. Children learn and practice behaviours at home first. So parents have a major role to play in early part of their children’s lives.

There are many causes which lead to obesity in children and here we will focus on some of the reasons for child obesity.

Insufficient physical activity

In most cases children imitate their parents and do what their parents tell them to do. Obese parents may not be physically active and children tend to live a less active life. They sit back and enjoy watching TV for more hours than they should because there are no parks and no recreational facilities in the neighborhood. Obesity promotes lethargy and children get used to it and they also show disinterest in physical activity. The other types of games children can play are video games which again requires one to be glued to the screen. This becomes an addiction and they sit for hours playing games. Video games are so addictive that children would like to have a quick bite and resume with their games. So beverages and fast foods are something that they can quickly consume and carry on with their games. So, sedentary behavior and fast foods are the causes of childhood obesity.

Watching TV

Children watching TV are exposed to commercials on food and toys and they choose to consume a lot of food that is advertised on TV. Watching TV regularly for hours gradually become an addiction for children and TV becomes a major recreation for children. As a result, children want to do, eat and live the way they see things shown on television.

Intake of food with high fat content

Eating out is an attraction for children because that is the time they get a chance to go out with parents. Packed foods from outside and especially beverages delivering empty calories are displacing more nutrient-rich diet continuously. So regular consumption of such foods only add on to children’s body weight .

Infant children are biased to food cooked at home

Most of the times kids do not show interest in food. Eating habits are inculcated by parents. Children easily pick up eating chocolates and other flavored drinks and beverages more than plain water and bland food. As normal food does not come with color, they don’t feel like eating it. And we should not forget that a child has its own moods and temperaments and environment plays a big role in influencing children’s dietary habits.

Genetic factors

Sometimes it is the genes or medical reasons that make children obese and in such cases doctors can help in controlling child obesity. Children may also suffer from other problems like thyroid which may make a child overweight, but thyroid problems are not commonly found in children.

How does loss of recess contribute to childhood obesity?

Loss of recess can contribute to childhood obesity. Recess time usually involves playing and having social interaction. The physical activity involved in the recess time can prevent childhood obesity. Kids who are involved in physical activity tend to be more active adults. Also, recess time improves social interaction. Hence, all schools should encourage recess time to prevent childhood obesity.

How Erratic Work Schedule of Parents Causes Childhood Obesity?

Parents try to provide a very good up bringing to their children. As a part of their effort, they work hard these days in the corporate sector to ensure a comfortable life style for the family. But in this process, they do not get time neither to take care of themselves nor their children. Though children are provided all material comforts, they lack proper guidance and most importantly the home cooked food.

Loneliness and emotional insensitivity causes them to develop negative attitudes and habits. They eat junk foods and drink soft drinks instead of fresh fruits and vegetables. The result is physical disorder like obesity and mental disorder like depression. It is not surprising to know why globalization and rise in several physical and mental disorders are happening simultaneously. Obesity is manifestation of a part of this global phenomenon. It is on the individuals to decide their priorities. It can be either earning wealth or maintaining health.