With the increasing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles, obesity affects both men and women all across the world. In addition, with time for these patterns to trickle down in the family, obesity is also being observed among kids. Childhood obesity, as it is commonly known, is a condition in which a child gains excess weight that is more than the ideal weight accordingly to his or her height.
The BMI index helps in detecting the actual weight of a person in comparison to the height and present weight. Nowadays, obesity in children has become a huge concern as it affects not only their overall health but also their ability to concentrate in school and at home. The causes of childhood obesity are linked with a variety of factors. In medical terms, this overweight can be due to psychological factors as well as metabolic factors. However, there are additional factors that cause obesity in children.
Causes of Childhood Obesity
Obesity in children is hugely affected by the genetic factor, which children inherit from their parents. The genes that control the metabolism and appetite of a human body, if not functioning properly, can lead to overweight in children, causing children’s body mass index to deviate from the normal range. In one study, it was found that 80% of kids are obese if both of their parents are overweight. On the other hand, only 10% of kids whose parents are not obese suffer from obesity.
Rapid change in environmental components can affect a kid’s health and lead him or her toward obesity. Current statistics state that pollution has a deep impact on human health and is a contributor to obesity among children.
Changes in Family Practices
Significantly, both parents—mother and father—play a very crucial role in promoting obesity in their kids. How?
- A significant drop in breast-feeding in infants may result in childhood obesity;
- Encouraging kids to engage in indoor or computer-centric games and discouraging outdoor activities is one of the main contributors to childhood obesity;
- Fewer physical activities, late rising, and improper eating habits may also result in obesity;
- Fulfilling the wishes of kids, such as buying more chocolates, cakes, soft drinks, packed foods, and junk foods is another factor which promotes obesity;
- Parents packing fatty and nutrient-less food for their kids in school is considered a prime reason for children obesity.
The Role of Schools
In fact, schools need to play a more positive role in educating children about the consequences and aftereffects of consuming junk and fatty foods.
Social and Political Factors
The higher number of fast-food joints, restaurants, improper advertisements, etc. cropping up in the city adversely affect the health of children. Also, minimizing public parks, pavement, and jogging paths discourage children from engaging in outdoor activities on a day-to-day basis.
Children are strongly lured toward computer games, which indirectly result in late-night eating, getting up late, lack of exercise, and a dull mentality.
These are some of the major factors that have become a huge concern for this generation of adults and kids with regard to their risk of obesity.
Since 2001, Dr. Alexander Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues, including alcohol addiction.