Causes of Childhood Obesity

Last Updated: 15 Jun 2020
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Causes of Childhood Obesity Obesity is a superfluous amount of fat in the body. Obesity happens when a person’s body receives many more calories than it can burn by itself during the day. In other words it means that people eat generous helpings of processed food; moreover, this food can consist of a lot of cholesterol, which is extremely dangerous for the human body. Childhood obesity today has grown rapidly and has become a disturbing epidemic in many countries in the past few decades. Studies show that since the early 1970s, the percentage of both children and adults who can be characterized as overweight has doubled.

According to a survey by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2007, self-reported rates among children from age 12 to 17 of obesity were 2. 9% for girls and 6. 8% for boys. It is interesting that children who have problems with weight are more likely to become overweight adults. In a study by Lauren Marcus and Amanda Baron (n. d. ) it was found that obesity begins in childhood for 30 persent obese adults. Sientists give many reasons for obesity, but the main three causes of childhood obesity are genetics, lack of activity, and children nourishment at school and at home.

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It is proven by scientists that genetics plays an important role of human beings. In spite of a fact that childhood obesity became a problem recently, the scientist already have evidence that childhood obesity is at least partly caused by genetics. Studies show that some ethnic groups have more prerequisites to be obese or are more defenseless to obesity-related disorders; moreover, a high body mass index could be associated with some genes (Denis Daneman and Jill Hamilton, 2010). A lot of people believe that a child has a 50 percent chance to be obese, if he or she has one overweight parent.

When a child has both parents who are obese, there is an 80 percent or less chance of being obese. No doubt, genes affect how a person’s body stores fat and how it is distributes through the body. Besides, genetics plays an important role in how rationally the body burns received calories during the day and burns calories during exercises, and also how effectively the body produces energy from food. Even though a child is genetically predetermined to obesity, exercises and a diet both in families and in schools are the main causes to gain weight.

Lack of activity is another cause of childhood obesity. It is proven that daily participation in school physical education contributes positive effect to physical development, and builds a strong muscle system for the future. If a child is not active during the day, his body can’t burn as many calories as it needs to burn, and as a result, from year to year a child gains more weight. Doctors Trembley and Willms in 2003 argued that “Automated labor-saving devices and inexpensive and ubiquitous access to calorie-dense food create an environment conducive to obesity.

Excessive TV watching and video game use have been identified as a stimulus for excessive eating and sedentary behavior”. According to the research of Tremblay and Willmas a risk of being overweight is around 17 to 44 percent, and 10 – 61 percent of being obese is a consequence of watching TV and playing video games (ibid). It is necessary for children to have and participate in the active life; otherwise that calories received from a junk food in front of the TV couldn’t be burn properly by the body.

That is why a child’s sedentary lifestyle serves as a gateway to the childhood obesity. Childhood diet at home and at school is the most important cause of childhood obesity. However, the members of the family share not only their genes, but also a diet habits that contribute a lot to childhood obesity in a family. Children of all ages spend half of their day in a school; therefore, school food is a very important part of children’s diet. It is not a big secret that the food which children eat every day at school is fast food.

Furtheremore, everybody knows fast food is highly processed, and unhealthy in all its forms, so what children receieve is food made of off-the-shelf components, says Jamie Oliver (2010). A simillar situation at home, at first glance it is so convenient for parents to make purchases at supermarkets, buy a half-finished products and spent less time on cooking. Nevertheless, that food usually does not contain any nutrients; as a result the children’s body doesn’t get all useful vitamins to develop properly, so the metabolism can’t work at its full capacity or burn calories as well.

It has been argued by Michael Wieting (2007) that obese children drink much more sugary drinks and eat more fries, potato chips, meat substitutes with ketchup and mayonnaise, and eat white bread. These all contribute to the higher calories, sugar, and fat intake. In the end, it is clear that childhood obesity can be caused by three main reasons such as genetics, lack of activity, and nourishment at school and at home. Genetics could influence how the body copes with calories, but if a child’s parents don’t take care over their progeny’s diet oth at school and at home, and also don’t organize child’s activity, he or she might gain weight easily in a very little time. Not only parents have to take care about their children, also everybody should remember that childhood obesity is becoming a dangerous epidemic in many countries, and everybody’s task is to prevent obesity, because children are our future. Bibliography Daneman, D. , & Hamilton, J. (2010). Causes and consequences of childhood obesity. Retrieved from http://www. aboutkidshealth. a/En/News/Columns/PaediatriciansCorner/Pages/Causes-and-consequences-of-childhood-obesity. aspx Michael, W. (2008). Cause and Effect in Childhood Obesity: Solutions for a National Epidemic. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 108(10)), 545-552. Retrieved from http://www. jaoa. org/content/108/10/545. full Marcus, L. , & Baron, A. (n. d. ). Childhood Obesity: The Effects on Physical and Mental Health. Retrieved from http://www. aboutourkids. org/articles/childhood_obesity_effects_physical_mental_health Oliver, J. (2010).

Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www. ted. com/talks/jamie_oliver. html Pulic Health Agency of Canada. (2009). Obesity in Canada – Snapshot. Retrieved from http://www. phac-aspc. gc. ca/publicat/2009/oc/pdf/oc-eng. pdf Tremblay, M. S. , ; Willmas, J. D. (2003). Is the Canadian childhood obesity epidemic related to physical inactivity? (Vol. 27, pp. 1100-1105). Retrieved from http://chaausa. nonprofitoffice. com/vertical/Sites/%7B0635C236-197E-47C6-8FBB-A80A08D4715B%7D/uploads/%7BB25D71A3-6FC3-4315-A19C-B8B476011EB2%7D. PDF

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Causes of Childhood Obesity. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved from

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