Child Obesity

Title says it all really. An epidemic of fat children is now causing problems not only in the short term, but for the long term too. Increases in diabetes is already common in younger adults for example.

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Increasingly of concern in society is child obesity. An issue for parents, an issue with both health and social consequences and an issue that shows no signs of slowing down. Being overweight when you're young inevitably follows you to in to adult life.

Parents of overweight children are right to be concerned about child obesity, and will have many questions about how and why it occurs, and what can be done about it.

What are The Causes of Child Obesity?

There are a whole range of causes, but these will include:

  • Lack of physical activity or regular exercise
     
  • Excessive sedentary behaviour - tv watching, video games, movies
     
  • Socioeconomic status - higher levels of obesity with low family incomes/non-working parents.
     
  • General eating habits - high-calorie foods, ready made meals and lack of fresh veg
     
  • Environment - over-exposure to high-calorie food advertising and no recreational facilities
     
  • Genetics - children with overweight parents are much more prone to weight problems

While causes are clear, the answers are not always as simple. Issues arise such as, are kids too concerned about their weight? What are the best strategies for prevention? What treatments work over a long time?

How Can You Prevent Obesity?

Prevention centres around issues such as creating a healthy eating environment, creating a physically active environment, and modeling good behavior for kids to follow. These are essential both in the home and also in school. If parents suspect that their kids have serious health, psychological or social problems as a result of weight gain, they should of course consult their doctor.

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