The rates of obesity in children are rising rapidly, with serious consequences. What are some of the reasons for this incline? What are some of the health factors that are involved, and what can we do to help change this problem?
Childhood Obesity: Time to Face the Facts
The facts speak for themselves. Today, one in five school-age children fulfills the classic definition of obesity, weighing 25% more than the ideal for their height and age. In the last decade, the incidence of obesity among children has risen nearly 30% (Brownlee,68). According to experts, they're on the fast track for developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure as adults.
Why do so many young children have a weight problem? There are several possibilities thrown out there to try to explain the problem or to just shift the blame for the problem. Some children are heavy simply because of genetic factors, some children don't get the exercise they need daily and also a lot of children are not getting the proper nutritional meals that they need to be healthy.
What is going on? I believe that it is ultimately the parents who are at fault for this rise in chubby children.
In recent years, babies being born have been getting considerably larger, both in length and in weight. This is mostly due to heredity: today's parents are getting taller and bigger than those of years past. Although it is during the last month of a pregnancy that babies gain extra weight, so mothers should watch their eating habits. The babies are growing off the charts, "It's a tidal wave," declares Naomi Neufeld, a pediatric endocrinologist in Los Angeles (Scelfo, 51). Unfortunately, this trend can be directly related to the rise in overweight parents who are having these babies.