Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Rahming Giovanni

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Rahming 1 Giovanni Rahming Ms. Joan Norman English 119 29th March, 2010 Causes of Childhood Obesity At some point in life, every parent has told their child to eat their vegetables. Most children ignore this request, however they should oblige. Obesity among children is becoming more and more common in today’s society and many people are wondering why. In 2006, then Minister of Health Dr. Marcus Bethel stated in the House of Assembly that 65% of adult Bahamians are overweight and 23% of children and teenagers between the ages of 11 and 20 are overweight.

He stated that this was a 10% increase over the previous year in terms of children and teenagers. The percentage of adults who were overweight only went up by 5%. These figures were calculated in the year 2006. It is now 2010 and those figures have probably doubled. This major increase in childhood obesity was brought about by a multitude of causes. Some of these are lack of exercise, poor diet and genetic predispositions. Before one can examine the causes of obesity, one must understand what obesity is.

The Centre For Disease Control describes obesity as a medical condition which involves the accumulation of excess body fat to the point where it is a risk to the general health of the person. Being obese should not be confused with being overweight. If a person is overweight it Rahming 2 simply means that the person has gained more weight than is necessary. It is not a direct threat to the general health of the person but it should still be taken seriously. Before a person can become obese he/she must first be overweight.

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It is the first step on the way to becoming obese and a step that many children in the Bahamas have already passed. Lack of exercise is one of the main reasons for obesity in children and teenagers. It is recommended that one should engage in at least thirty minutes of vigorous exercise per day. Unfortunately, this is not the case concerning most children in The Bahamas. In a recent broadcast news program, Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis stated that children and teenagers are beginning to surpass adults in terms of the obesity level in the country.

Parents are directly responsible for this because they don’t encourage their children to exercise. If you drive around New Providence during the evening hours and look on the sidewalks, you will see people jogging or walking. Most of these people are elderly or middle aged adults who are only walking because they received some threatening news from their doctor. Children are hardly seen jogging, walking or outside on the whole. Technology has come so far that people don’t have to go outside hardly at all these days. Regardless of this fact, parents need to step up and get their children to exercise.

In an article in the Nassau Guardian, a few tips were given on how to encourage children to be more active and it was suggested that the parent’s participation would be the best way. It stated, “Turn off the television, shut down the computer and drag the kids outside if you have too. ” Challenging them to a game usually works well. When parents go walking or jogging in the evening they should encourage their children to come with them. This way the whole family can get exercise and stay healthy. It has been proven that habits developed at a young age will carry Rahming 3 n into adulthood. If children get used to exercising everyday they will continue this habit into their adult years. Thus this problem of childhood obesity can be partially solved if parents would just exercise with their children. Working out is not the only way to combat this problem of childhood obesity, a healthy diet is essential as well. It is perhaps more important than exercise and is something that most children do not have. A healthy diet consists of the correct amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats. These nutrients are needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Most children get these nutrients; the problem is they take in too much of one type and not enough of another. For example they consume very large amounts of protein but not enough carbohydrates. This extra protein is then changed into fat and stored resulting in excess weight. Another nutrient that children consume too much of is fats. Believe it or not fats are needed but only in small amounts. The large amounts of candy and sugars that kids eat cause them to gain weight at an alarming rate. Adding to this, fast food makes up the majority of the diet of most of the children in The Bahamas.

They get no nutritional value and simply gain weight. If children consume more vitamins from vegetables in their diet, they will be a lot healthier and less obese. The complaint with most children is that vegetables taste horrible, which some do. The way to get around this is to make the children eat their vegetables without them knowing they are eating healthy. They can be hidden in soups, casseroles or even sandwiches as long as the dish looks as if it has no vegetables in it. A lot of parents wonder why their obese children act depressed or withdraw themselves from other children their age.

The answer is their obesity is affecting their emotions and behavior. Research has proven that children whom are obese tend to be more depressed and antisocial than Rahming 4 children who are at a normal weight level. This just adds to the stress and challenges obese children have to face on a daily basis and it is also one of the reasons why losing weight is so difficult for them. If they feel depressed all the time then they won’t have any energy to exercise. These emotional problems seem to prove the statement of Nutritional Consultant Charlotte Skiles to be true.

She said: “The food that we eat affects the structure of the body and thus it affects the function of the body. These functions don’t have be just physical but psychological as well. Psychological effects of obesity can include depression, withdrawal, lack of energy, loss of enthusiasm, anger and anti-social behavior. ” People tend to blame obesity on a lot of things; the reason they often fail to mention is genetics. Many people don’t know or understand that some children are just designed to be obese because it was passed along in their jeans.

The Center for Disease Control reports that scientists have linked one hundred and twenty seven jeans in the human DNA system to obesity. These jeans cause some children to gain weight without excessive eating or lack of exercise. Also some children are born obese and continue to gain weight as they become adults. Children who are obese because of genetic causes find it most difficult to lose weight. The best way they can do this is try to slow down the amount of weight they gain by eating a well balanced diet and exercising.

In the Bahamas, childhood obesity is not the most talked about disease but it is evident that it is on the rise. Children are becoming less active, fewer kids are seen playing outside and slowly the youth of the country are becoming bigger and bigger. Because of the lack of parental Rahming 5 encouragement, children eat what they please and do not get the essential vitamins and minerals they need. Instead all they get is sugar and thus fat. Then they don’t exercise which is the major reason why obesity is on the rise in the country.

Even those with genetic predispositions can eat healthy and exercise to try and control their weight. However the majority of Bahamian children whom are obese do not have genetic predispositions. All they need to do is eat right and exercise to put a real dent in the obesity level in the country. The youth of a country is its future and an obese nation does not bode well for any country.

Works Cited “Childhood Obesity Caused By Lack of Exercise. ” Medical News Today 2004. 16 Mar. 2010 “Getting Your Kids To Exercise” Nassau Guardian 5 May. 2005 16 Mar. 010 Interview with Dr. Hubert Minnis. Bahamas Tonight. ZNS Network. 28. Feb. 2010 Kopland, Jeffery. , Koraak, Vivicka. , Liverman, Catharyn. , eds. Preventing Childhood Obesity, Health In The Balance. Washington D. C. , 2005 Obesity and Genomics 2005. Center For Disease Control 23 Mar. 2010 Skiles, Charlotte. Effects Of Poor Diet In Children 2009. 16 Mar. 2010 Thompson, Lindsay. Minister of Health Encourages Fight Against Obesity. 2008 26. Mar. 2010 Thompson, Zandra. Obesity As A Risk Factor For Disease. 2006 26. Mar. 2010

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