The Causes and Effects of Childhood Obesity Essay
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One of the biggest concerns among health care providers and parents in the last few decades has been childhood obesity. This has caused many problems; among the most concerning is a preventable health problem. Professionals have even considered it an epidemic, which raises even more concern about the future of our youth. It also opens our eyes to see that the problem is much bigger than we thought it to be. The major causes for obesity are the rise in fast food consumption, the popularity of soft drinks, and the lack of physical activity in young children.
The first cause for childhood obesity is the rise in fast food consumption. The consumption of fast food is rapidly growing around the whole world for many reasons. People are now busier than ever with their jobs and other activities. Fast food restaurants have made it very easy to get a delicious warm meal in less than five minutes. Another reason is that it’s cheap. People can usually get a whole meal for a little bit more than five dollars. Many children get home from school and both parents are working. They eat some snacks while they wait for their parents to come home.
For the parents, however, it is faster and cheaper to pick up some carryout than to prepare a homemade meal. This seems like a good thing, but the problem is that although they fill up the stomach fast food is filled with empty calories and saturated fats and lack vitamins and proteins essential for proper growth and development.
Another reason for childhood obesity is soft drinks. Many people try to watch what their children eat, but usually overlook what they are drinking. Children are naturally attracted to sweets and prefer to have a sweet drink rather than water, simply because it tastes better and the more sweet drinks they have the less they want to drink water. Soft drinks are filled with sugar. The human body uses sugar and transforms it into energy which we use to move around and do all kinds of physical activity. The problem is that when ingested in large quantity the body transforms it into fat.
Kids are also fooled by the media. Commercials and advertisements of athletes drinking sports drinks to perform better, makes children think that these drinks are healthy but they are usually really high in sugar. There are hundreds of different kinds of drinks making the choice of drinking water less appealing each time. What many people don’t know is that there is nothing that can ever replace water.
The final cause of childhood obesity is the lack of physical activity. Today children have so many different ways of entertaining themselves that physical activity is just another choice, a very unpopular one. As technology grows going outside and running around seem less and less appealing. Television, computers, and video games are among the most popular forms of entertainment for children. Children can now play as their favorite sports star and live the experience of a professional game with cheers and applauses for their good performance.
It is also easier to become a master of the game in front of a monitor than actually doing the sport physically. This makes kids feel better and they don’t get tired or sweat. They can also put a lot more time and effort than in the field. They also feel accomplished because they are good at something they like to do. The bad thing is they are just accumulating fat because they are not burning all the calories they are ingesting. It has also been proven that children tend to eat more while watching television.
The effects of fast food consumption, intake of soft drinks, and lack of physical activity are obesity and chronic illness. Children are slowly learning bad habits that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. This will make them sick, unhappy, and ultimately lead to early deaths. Fast food is filled with empty calories and saturated fat which not only causes weight gain but also causes heart problems like clogged arteries, tumors, and cancers. The rate of diabetes has risen among children to disturbing heights.
This is caused by an excess intake of sugar, ingested through soft drinks in a higher proportion than candy or sweets. Finally the lack of physical activity is the biggest problem because children are not burning all the calories they are ingesting. Children usually eat and then sit down to watch TV or sit in front of the computer instead of walking around. This causes their metabolic rate to slow down and their stomach cannot digest food properly. This also causes there body to retain a lot of toxins that are supposed to be expelled by the body, causing children to get sick very easily.
The fact of the matter is that it is up to the parents to care for their children and make more of an effort to teach them healthy eating habits and promote physical activity for their own good. The children cannot be blamed, because they learn from their parents practicing habits that they see their parents preform. The children are the future of this world and parents hold the responsibility to teach them by actions and example so they can later teach their children and so on.
It is always easier to go with the simplest most convenient choice and the media and businesses try to maneuver us in that direction, but it is worth it to make an effort for the well-being and happiness of our families. Sometimes we end up losing more just for trying to save a little money.