Childhood obesity

Essay by tina-lovetsCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2006

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

The increasing problem of childhood obesity is a major health concern happening world wide, especially in some developed countries. Where rate of childhood obesity in Australia is at one of the highest amongst developed nations, 20%-25% of Australia children aged 2 to 17 years are currently obese, double the prevalence recorded in 1986 (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2005). Stanton and Hills (2004) stated that obesity can be "defined as an excessive proportion of body fat" (p.11-13). Generally, obesity in children is caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy nutrition intake, or a combination of the two, all playing an important role in determining a child's weight.

The first cause of the child obesity is lack of physical exercise. Since our lifestyles today are a great deal more sedentary than before, both adults and children rely more on high-tech and services which reduce physical activity - lifts, remote controls, internet shopping, food take-away home delivery, which all reduce physical activity.

Bases on the research of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2002), Australian children now watch between 20-30 hours of television every week, and don't even have to move to change the channel. Furthermore, as a result of having more homework and taking extra tutorials on top of school studies, children significantly spend much less time outside. Similarly, the reliance on the motor vehicles also caused the situation became even worse (Braun, 2002). For instances, cost of public transport and its inconvenience, the denseness of traffic system caused safety problems, all of these factors have led parents drive their children to school, result in an increase in car usage and decrease in exercise (ibid).

Food consumption quality and quantity are also important factors influencing childhood obesity. Convenience of energy-dense foods and drinks, reduced time for cooking, and meals...