The Scourge of Childhood Obesity

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Obesity is a growing problem. In fact its been indicated that obesity will soon take-over tobacco smoking in causing death. it is particularly rampantly spreading across young children. About 20 percent and growing of children between six and seventeen years are obese. This number has been shown to have doubled in the last 30 years. Doctors indicate that this is something that is coming out of their parents.The same study has shown that one-third of adults are overweight as well. What most parents fail to realize is that nutritional habits for children are formed during childhood. When children are offered a balanced diet over time, they will develop good eating habits.

When working with children, a low fat diet may be dangerous. Research on diet for children under two years of age does not indicate that a low-fat diet is healthy. Too little fat may be dangerous. Not enough fat in a diet is thought to possibly retard growth and development in children. This is also because young children may not be able to eat enough calories and nutrients for growth. Interestingly fat is a concentrated source of energy. It provides twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein. Apart from providing energy fats are also used for energy storage, organ insulation and for transporting the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Health risks for obesity in children include high blood pressure known as pediatric hypertension and blood cholesterol as well as social and psychological stress. Doctors note that the greatest risk is with children who remain obese into adulthood. They become at greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, arthritis and certain cancers. Just as obese children, obese adults will also face psychological and social stress.

There are a variety of weight gain causes in children. Poor dietary habits, heredity, family lifestyle, socio-economic status and a child’s ethnicity are known factors in causing obesity. Obesity is highest among Hispanic, Africa-America and American Indian Children especially girls. Experts have reached a conclusion that genetic tendencies combined with habits that promote weight gain make it a greater possibility for a child to be overweight. Children who consume high calorie soft drinks and fruit beverages may be adding to the problem. Sugar in sodas has been shown to contribute to weight gain. In the United States, soft-drink consumption amongst school-age children has more than doubled in the last two decades. Showing our children the right eating habits is of immense benefit. All parents and guardians are encouraged to show this way in this context.

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Source by Aurther Shoko

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