Throughout the years, obesity has been a very important topic in our society and has risen exponentially among children and many researchers have wondered what are the causes of childhood obesity. There are many components which contribute to the causes of child obesity. Also people need to understand what exactly is body-mass-index and how it will be used to decide whether the child is categorized as being obese or not. Here are the some of the primary causes that affect children leading into obsession. The children consume so much food, are exposed to too many advertisements, lack physical activity, parents influence their actions, and the children’s living environments and socioeconomic factors influence them. Many blame that children eat beyond their control and this happens to be the number one cause. The second cause is children are exposed too many food commercials of less healthy foods and eventually are convinced into consuming the product. The third reason is children tend to lack physical activity by rather spending countless hours playing video games and browsing the internet. The fourth cause is that the children parents influences them, and the genetics of the parents is a great influence on children’s overweight and obesity. The last cause is the child’s living environment and their socioeconomic status influences their decisions and actions. These are the main components that lead into causing obesity among the children.
What factors make children to be considered obese from a normal weight. What is obesity and BMI? Typically, obesity and overweight children are characterized as having a body-mass-index (BMI) greater than a particular threshold set point. BMI or body-mass-index undistinguished as a measurement in “kilograms divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2)” (Anderson 20). Reported by the guidelines in National Institutes of Health, a child is well categorized as obese if their “body-mass-index is less than 18.5”, the kids are considered overweight if their “BMI is 25 or more, and obese if his BMI is 31 or more” (20). Most people have no significant idea of what exactly is obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control and prevention, obesity is defined as “a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced 6 life expectancy and/or increased health problems” (CDC, 2013). In the article Childhood Obesity: An Overview, it mentions that it can happen only when the number of calories being consumed surpasses the quantity of calories burned, and usually an increase of this action has to last for long periods of time for obesity to be developed (Reily 2007) In order for a child to not be obese, it will take them days of lifestyle changes which produce a small every day calorie deficiency in their food diet. In the long run it is necessity that lifestyle changes is a huge contributor to the failure of efforts to resolve obesity once it has become established. When the children consume much more calories than they burn off, they increase that as obese weight. (WebMD 1) How children eat, how physically active they are, and many numerous components play a part on how it impacts their body and uses the energy units and when weight is increased. These are the basics of obesity and how the body-mass index is use to classified children as obese.
The number one cause is children intake way too much unhealthy food products such as soft drinks, fast food, convenient snack food, chips, and junk food, etc. When the children eat this certain type of food, the calories sum up creating body fat or also known as BMI. Most children tend to miss a great diet and are easily exposed to unhealthy food; therefore, they will consume as they are pleased (Anderson and Butcher 14). The three major food categories are convenience foods, soft drinks, and obviously fast food. All these are calorie dense and there is some evidence that consuming these items are correlated with obesity in children (35). Also the much more children consume this type of food, the easier it is for them to get addicted. The world’s leading global fast food service retailer with more than 34,000 and counting restaurants worldwide goes to the McDonald’s Corporation franchise and they happened to sell the two unhealthiest leading food products that causes obesity, which are french fries and chicken nuggets (McDonalds 1). Nevertheless, children tend to always eat them at any fast food place. They cannot enjoy their meal without a side of french fries or chicken tenders. Another thing children face are the easy access to junk food in schools. Much more schools across America have carried out school vending machines that contain highly calorie snacks such as candy bars and chips. Fast food companies use tactics against children such as advertising to brain wash them to consume their food products.
The second cause leading to child obesity is that many of the children that end getting overweight are exposed to hundreds of advertising of unhealthy foods. The television advertisements are very influential and persuasive to the children’s mind. On average, the child watches an estimate of more than 23,000 food commercials every year and works out to at least 60 commercials per day (Anderson and Butcher 32). Also many children get influenced by prizes or characters of the advertisement. For example, when children see an advertisement on the television for a kid’s meal; they will get convinced into buying the meal because their neurons urges the kid to wan the super, marvelous action figure found inside. This is why the McDonald’s Happy meals are the number one selling food product to children. The children in today’s society tend to not do physical activities because their days consist of computer and television interaction.
Another cause to child obesity is that many obese children do not control their overall health and lack physical activity to burn off the excess of calories. Children may be substituting different sorts of media for television watching, including video games and the internet (Anderson and Butcher 26). The kids already are not burning up the calories by not choosing to exercise and add many more calories to their bodies. The body systems of the child will not be able to burn off the calories when they do this actions. Thus, this cause raises the energy consumption or decreases energy outgo by even a little measure that will cause obesity in the long-run. Prospectively, physical activity was inversely related to with “BMI alteration in girls, and media time periods (watching television or videos, playing video or computer games) was directly connected with BMI alterations in both sexes” (Hans-Reiner Figulla 209). A factor that many really don’t notice that affect the child health choices are the parents themselves.
A cause that usually is not taken in consideration to child obesity are the parents themselves. While parental behavior is important, perhaps the largest influence on the children weight, and obesity is through genetics. For example, it is known that parents influence the children’s food choices. Also the laboring of the parents, makes it difficult to plan and cook healthier meals. For most Americans, it is effortless to get precooked products, eat out in the restaurants, or go to the store to buy products. But these types of foods are higher in fat and high in calories. The quantity of fast food products have gotten a lot bigger in size and this contributes to bad food consumption. Occupation agendas, lengthy travels from the workplace, and other commitments also cuts into the time period the parents have their kids doing physical exercise. Recent reports have concluded that about 26 to 41 percent of BMI is hereditary (Anderson and Butcher 10). Alternately it seems that parents may pass on to their children a condition to overweight in the existence of energy imbalance. (10) The environment in which the children live can also influence and effect children to getting obese.
The fifth cause is that is taken in consideration to child obesity is the environment and socioeconomic conditions of the children. Obesity is higher among minority children and low-income children such as African-American and Hispanics decent (Anderson 15). It all the depends where the children live. If the environment is under poverty conditions, the parents will most likely expose their children to consume cheap food for the penny. Now much more fast food corporations have increased their portion sizes of their products and cost a lot cheaper. Whose family members that are overweight may be at jeopardy of becoming overweight themselves, but this can be connected to common family actions such as consumption and human activity habits. For example, my mother was a considerably overweight at the time of pregnancy when she had me; therefore I was born obesity and I was two pounds overweight.
In conclusion, these are some of the major components that cause child obesity. Most of the time it isn’t just the child itself but there are much more to what causes obesity among them. Also most don’t realize that by using the body mass index or BMI is used to categorized the child as being obese. The obvious one is when the child over eats too much and doesn’t burn off the calories they intake and that add fat weight on their bodies. Many people also didn’t realize that the environment the child lives in can not only influence the children but also their parents. It is mainly the child’s environment that influences the children to either make positive or negative choices. The causes are child obesity are clearly that they consume so much food, are exposed to too many advertisements, lack physical activity performance, parents influence their actions, and the children’s living environments and socioeconomic factors influence them as well.
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