The Most Common Causes for Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a terrible problem. Children as young as five are so overweight that they cannot be children. They cannot play and enjoy their life the way children are meant to. Childhood obesity causes a number of health issues too. Children who are overweight tend to be sick more often too. Understanding childhood obesity can help parents make decisions and prevent obesity with their children.

What Is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is a health condition. When obesity is diagnosed, it’s generally based on a child’s BMI or body mass index. The Center for Disease Control defines obesity as a BMI greater than the 95th percentile. When you visit your pediatrician your child’s height and weight are ranked on a scale. The scale is then compared to the average child across the country and healthy levels.

What Causes Childhood Obesity?

There are actually many causes of childhood obesity. In some cases there are hereditary elements involved. A child may inherit a thyroid problem or another hormonal problem. If parents and other family members are obese, then children are more likely to be obese as well. However, there are other environmental factors that may have more significant bearing on a child?s health.

Most commonly childhood obesity is caused by poor eating habits and inactivity. Many obese children live on a regular diet of starchy carbs and high fat foods. A fast food diet is a prime cause of obesity amongst children. A diet that is high in sugar, white flour and fat will quickly cause children to have imbalanced blood sugar. They’ll have blood sugar highs and lows which lead to cravings. Cravings lead to more unfortunate food choices and the cycle can quickly get out of hand.

The problem is only further enhanced when parents are unable to or do not provide healthy options. When cupboards are stocked with junk food, children almost always choose the junk over a healthy snack.

Couple the issues of an unhealthy diet with inactivity and you have the makings for childhood obesity. More and more children are left home to fend for themselves after school. When they’re home they sit on the couch and watch television. They play video or computer games. They’re not active outside. They’re not moving their body. They’re not playing. To cut a long story short – children are consuming way more calories than they burn. And the calories they do consume are not providing them with the nutrients they need.

Overweight and obese children face a life of ridicule by their peers. They face health challenges most adults cannot fathom. They also face a shorter lifespan. It’s a very sad prognosis.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be reversed. Children are incredibly adaptable. They can learn new habits. But they cannot do it alone. They need support. They need adults who can help them make responsible and healthy decisions.

´╗┐