Longevity logo

10 Causes of Childhood Obesity

by Venkata Rambabu 2 months ago in health
Report Story

Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity affects one in three children, and the effects can last into adulthood. At its worst, Childhood Obesity can cause serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. These 10 causes of childhood obesity should serve as red flags that your child may be heading down this dangerous path. So take action to prevent childhood obesity before it’s too late!

1. Sedentary Lifestyle

More often than not, childhood obesity is a symptom of lifestyle. In other words, if your kids are obese because they eat too much (or don't eat healthily), chances are that you're eating too much (or aren't eating healthy) yourself. The first step toward preventing childhood obesity is learning how to develop healthy habits for yourself—and your family.

It’s not enough to make personal changes, though; you have to be willing and ready to work with your family so they understand why those changes are necessary. If you can get everyone on board, then it's time to learn about what causes childhood obesity to prevent it from happening in your home.

2 . Sugar-filled foods

Many processed foods contain high amounts of sugar, which means a lot of extra calories. Although parents are usually aware that these foods aren’t healthy for their kids, many don’t realize just how unhealthy they are; nutrition labels often come with eye-popping numbers for sugar content.

That’s why it's important to read food labels every time you buy something new and opt for items that contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. If you can't find anything without added sugars, try adding fresh fruit or vegetables instead. Not only do they make a delicious addition to any meal, but they also add nutrition rather than empty calories.

3. Eating too many processed foods

Though it seems obvious, one of many causes of childhood obesity is kids eating too much junk food. Yes, eating plenty of vegetables and water is important. But most kids don't get enough lean proteins, whole grains, or fiber. Junk food fills them up but doesn't give them what they need. Parents are a major influence on children's diets; having a clean kitchen can help mitigate issues with overeating junk food.

4. Too much TV, video games, Internet

Children who are overweight or obese watch a lot more television than their normal-weight peers. Watching TV has been linked to childhood obesity in several studies. One possible reason is that watching TV takes your eyes off of your plate, making it easier to overeat without even realizing it. Remember: There’s no need for kids ages 2–5 years old to watch TV—for any reason other than educational programming.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children 6 months old or older watch no more than 1 hour per day of quality educational programming on weekdays, and no more than 2 hours per day on weekends. Keep kids active with exercise instead!

5. Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep is becoming an increasingly common problem for children. Children who are not getting enough sleep at night may eat more because they are tired, which can lead to childhood obesity. Some other causes include too much screen time (television, computers, video games), too many sugary drinks and processed snacks, lack of exercise, unhealthy food choices, bad eating habits, etc.

To prevent childhood obesity you should ensure your child is getting enough quality sleep every night by establishing a bedtime routine. Take away all televisions, computers, or video games after dinner so that they aren’t tempted to spend their free time sedentary in front of them instead of playing outside or exercising.

The first step in preventing childhood obesity is understanding that genes play a role. If you’re worried about your child becoming obese, you might want to get her a genetic test to determine if there are any genetic risk factors. While parents can’t do much about their child’s genetics, they can take measures to mitigate them: breastfeeding your child for at least six months may reduce her risk of childhood obesity later on.

The same goes for offering balanced meals and limiting excessive TV-watching (especially for kids under two years old). Ultimately, consider getting an annual physical exam for each family member; we'll talk more about what steps you can take in Part 2.

6. Lifestyle

Lifestyle choices also play a big part in childhood obesity. A study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that if both mom and dad were overweight or obese before having children, their child had five times greater odds of being overweight or obese by age five compared to children whose parents weren't overweight or obese during early pregnancy.

So be sure to ask your doctor for advice on preventing childhood obesity before expecting or trying to conceive – just as it’s important to eat healthy before pregnancy, it's equally important after conception.

7. Fast foods

Fast foods are unhealthy, both for children and adults. It has many hidden fats, which increase a person’s risk for obesity. Eating too much fast food makes it difficult for children to maintain an active lifestyle. Having a sedentary lifestyle will cause children to gain weight.

To prevent childhood obesity, try eating healthier meals at home, avoiding fast-food restaurants when possible, encouraging your child to participate in activities that help them stay active (such as going for walks), and preventing your child from watching too much television or playing video games.

8. Lack of physical activity

While children spend more time playing sedentary games than ever before, exercise has been linked with lower rates of obesity. A study from Georgia Southern University found that children who received at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity were 2.4 times less likely to be obese than their active counterparts.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also notes that as little as 15 minutes per day can help keep kids fit. Encourage your child to get moving every day!

9. Unhealthy school meals

An increasing number of schools are introducing or expanding their on-campus fast-food restaurants and vending machines. While these programs can be financially lucrative for schools, they often result in students buying unhealthy lunches, consuming more calories overall, and becoming overweight.

The federal government’s efforts to improve school nutrition have led some schools to introduce new policies that allow students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches to trade their school meals for healthier options like vegetables, fruits, nuts, bread, cheese sticks, and other options that fall within a certain budget.

To help your child maintain a healthy weight—and keep them away from junk food—talk with your kids about healthier eating choices when visiting friends or going out with family members.

10. Stressful home life

It's no secret that stress affects our physical health. When it comes to childhood obesity, it turns out there is an undeniable link between children who live with chronic stress and weight gain.

What does this mean for our kids?

It's clear that if we want to create a healthier future for our kids. Taking care of their mental health needs to be just as important as teaching them.

Originally posted in: https://ushealthcarecenter.com/


About the author

Venkata Rambabu

I am a Content creator on Health and fitness.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.