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Causes Of Childhood Obesity In America

Like many of us, children have wants and desires. In recent years, the wants have been changed from wanting a new outdoor game to wanting food. A small snack is okay, of course, but in some cases there has been talk of children snacking up to 27 percent of their daily caloric intake. This paper examines the causes of child obesity. The primary focuses on this paper is on diet, psychology, and lack of exercise.

In this society of fast foods and constant rush from here to there, there isn’t a lot of time to prepare a decent meal for not only lunch but dinner for children. When a meal for a lunch contains soda for a drink or a candy bar for desert, it not only creates a hyped up child for after recess, but it consumes a great deal of calories. A child that is between nine and thirteen years old should be consuming 1600 calories a day (number is based on a child with a sedentary lifestyle). With these two items alone, 1/8 of a child’s diet is consumed. There are some preventative measures you can take. Instead of packing a soda for a drink, pack a drink box instead. And instead of packing a candy bar, pack some fruit for a sweet dessert. In addition to this, always make sure there are healthy alternatives in your home. That way, if your child wants a snack, it will be a healthy option. Not only is diet a cause of obesity, there are psychological factors as well.

Children similarly to adults could have a psychological problem when it comes to food. If they are bored, they will snack on something to give their body something to do. They will also use it as a coping mechanism; depression, stress, and anxiety are commonly mentioned. Children who are coping with a loss of a family member or are in a situation where a couple is getting divorced often increases the chances of the child using this coping mechanism. Another method of alleviating psychological stresses is through exercise, which also is on the decline.

The average child needs at least thirty minutes of physical activity a day. With outdoor activities becoming less popular amongst children, the sedentary lifestyle is beginning earlier in children, opposed to adults who have to sit behind a desk for many hours a day. Video games, computers and handheld gaming consoles are encouraging children to sit down and play, instead of going outside to play.

As you can see, there are many things we can do to prevent childhood obesity. More exercise, healthier diet, and talking about problems are just a few. With a little bit of effort, we can lower childhood obesity and make our children healthier.


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