THE DANGER OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

OBESITY

      I believe it is truly amazing how the subject of obesity can fly so low off of the radar, especially in children. For those of us that have children, the facts this article will provide can be alarming. But in return, it will educate you on the importance of the subject at matter. Do you know what the number one most preventable disease is across the entire world? If you guessed childhood obesity, you are correct. Childhood obesity is the leading cause of preventable diseases worldwide. This disease can be prevented in most of all cases. Those who are related to the disease through genetics are not so lucky.

     Over the last thirty years, childhood obesity has been on the rise.

THE DANGERS OF OBESITY

     In most cases of childhood obesity, high calorie intake and lack of physical exercise are to blame. A small percentage of childhood obesity cases are blamed on genetic makeup, medical reasons, and physiatric reasons. Since obesity in children often lead to adulthood, children who are obese are usually tested for diabetes, hyperlipidemia, fatty liver, and physiatric illness.

     In a new test that was done by the Government National Child measurement Programme of the United Kingdom, studies continue to show an increase in childhood obesity. The study shows the number of children obese has increased by twenty-five percent. The numbers speak for themselves. Twenty-five percent of children are obese before they begin school. By the time they are eleven, nearly one out of every three children is obese and will be at risk for life long complications such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

     Even though the increases were small, there is still cause for panic because childhood obesity continues to rise. It has been thought for many years that exercise and diet are the two main causes. We all need to try and keep our children healthy and teach them healthy habits along the way. Heart disease and diabetes are no joking matter. And to beat it all, it is mostly preventable. With the increase of exercise programs world wide within the last few years, the word is beginning to spread around. These programs are great. They offer children daily exercise, healthy eating tips, and educate the children about the importance of the two.

The alarming statistics of obesity in preschool.
The alarming statistics of obesity in preschool.

WHAT WE CAN DO

      It is never to early to educate your children on the importance of obesity. With all the new technology within reach of our children, they are less likely to be as active as we were at their age. We need to educate our children about healthy eating and healthy exercise. When we are but a few months old, we begin to crawl and eventually walk. Around the age of one or so, we begin to say words. When we are three, we begin to combine words and make small sentences. At five, we learn to read and learn to write. By seven, we are capable to read small books and write fairly well. If our children can do all of this by the age of six or seven, they can learn the importance of eating right and daily exercise. As parents, we must teach them the right way to live, especially if they are showing signs of being obese. Our children learn from us. They watch us and take in our habits and what we say. We must give our children every advantage that we can as parents. We must educate them to the best of our knowledge. We must warn them of the risk that obesity brings to them. We can't stand idle by anymore. Childhood obesity has risen for the last thirty odd years and it shows no sign of slowing down. If we want it to, as parents, we have to take control of the situation and change it ourselves.

     I believe firmly that our children need to be taught this in school. I am not saying we need to educate them on obesity year round, but we need to set aside time for this subject. Even though schools do teach this to a certain extent, it is not enough. As parents, I believe we should bring this up to our local school boards for discussion. Not everyone has an overweight child or obese child. But for the ones that do, your child is in danger. The good news is it can be prevented. It is up to you to take a stand and save your child from a life of pain and disease. I am not trying to scare you in any way. I just want you to be aware of all the things obesity can cause to your child. Even if the schools will do nothing, as parents, we can make the necessary changes for our children to prevent this disease.

THE CONSTANT RISE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

 
2-5 years of age 
6-11 Years of age 
1960-69 
4% 
4% 
1970-79 
5% 
7% 
1980-89
7% 
10% 
1990-99
8% 
14% 
2000-09
13% 
18% 
2010-present
16% 
20% 

 Source: Essex Chronical, Chelsford (UK) April 28, 2011

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Comments 17 comments

Marlin 55 profile image

Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

Great article Richard and years as a Pro Fitness Trainer I can relate. Today's diet in children is having a huge impact on the rise of obesity. Much of the food that is processed has little nutritional value despite what the labels say. Not only does it effect children's physical state, it has a major impact on mental well being as well. I hope parents begin to take the time to start feeding their children living foods from the garden. I know obesity would take an immediate drop and things such as depression would begin to disappear. Thanks for sharing such a great article.


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

I couldn't agree with you more Marlin. Nutritional value is very important, as well as exercise. The Disney movie "Wall E" is a prime example of the stereotype of obesity. It shows a bunch of fat people in the movie that rely on machines and robots to do work. Almost like today. But in all honesty, it has to start at home with us parents. We can't let our children become a statistic. Many thanks Marlin.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Richard, all great and important information and advice, i think what is feeding the obesity in kids today is too many fast food places and lack of any good exercise,kids should be out more playing sports and riding bikes and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air .

Useful and vote up !!!

Welcome to Hubpages !!!


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Today's children are brought up on pop in the microwave food. That quick and simple method. It is not so much the fast food joints that parents constantly complain about. It is what the parent buys when shopping. Also the parents need to be held accountable for the lack of sports their child plays etc... Great Hub.

Always:

LeeLee aka Mrs. J. B.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great article. Childhood obesity has become a monumental problem in the last few years. I have to believe it has something to do with the amount of time children are spending inside the house watching tv and playing video games. They need to be outside running around the way we were when we were growing up. Rated up and awesome.


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Kash, thanks a million. You are correct. Easy access to fast food and exercise are leading causes. The new generation id dependent on new technology and games such as tag and chase are a thing of the past. Kash, you did it on the nail. These activities are used less and less as the technology and communication age begins


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hello JB. Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting. You make a great case. It does start at home. As parnets, we must educate our children about this subject. At this age and time, it is all about convenience. The technology that is out right now is amazing, to say the least. I agree 100%. Change must start within the four walls of the home.


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Koffee, how are you? You are right and thank you for the comment. Children have that luxury now. They can sit inside the house and visit everyone of their friends without leaving the house. They have access to the world and there is plenty of interesting things for them to do online. We do need to find somehow to get them outside daily. Good point.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub. Actually I had wrote about the biggest babies in the world. His name is a Lu Hao, a baby from China. I thought obesity is part of international problem. Obesity has several impact for health, such as: premature death, heart disease, stroke, diabetes type 2, etc. Bad news is the obesity begin to impact for children, even for babies. I hope we can fix this, at least we can prevent early on. You have done a great job here. You got my vote, brother.

Prasetio:)


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

A very good article about a big problem in many countries. Obesity in children is so sad and many of them have to fight it for the rest of there lives since the lifestyle has become a habit. But I believe that I see a small change in teenagers at least where I live. They are more and more active in soccer, gyms and all kinds of sports, it has become like a trend to live healthy! Thanks for sharing this great hub. Well done! Rated up!

Tina


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Prasetio, thank you so much. I appreciate your comments. We as well friend. We need to lay a strong foundation to start decreasing the numbers. The sad part is in most cases, it is 100% preventable. Best to you.


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Thoughtforce, That is good news to hear. I really cheer on all those who put efforts in for fitness camps and mini boot camps. It is really an important issue. Glad to see your community is active. Thanks for the wonderful words, vote, and comment. Very much appreciated.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Richard83,

I may be a little different in my outlook from the boot camp mentality but I sure do agree with you on the issue of childhood leading, in turn, to adult obesity...so riddle me this?

As a Holistic Nurse teacher, I try to get my students to see the differences between Eastern and Western cultures/ approaches to complementary modalities. Exercise and movement is one certainly. While both sides have benefits, we tend to view fitness as competitive, "boot camp", cardio, prescribed sessions. In my practice, I see much injury, in turn leading to giving up...back to a sedentary lifestyle, once again.

I think there is much to be said for the integration of movement and exercise in the family lifestyle. We took family walks. We had picnics with hikes. That stuff builds up to 45 minutes of walking 5x a week (probably more) when you build in mini golf and bowling and playing tag. As adults walking and yoga and swimming...

I can still see my skinny old Aunt walking around the block with a dripping ice cream cone in her hands just smiling away! {That's me man, no boot camp!!}

Loved your message-- one we all need to hear loud and clear-- Voted UP & USEFUL & AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL!


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

First of all, as a teacher, you do make a difference no matter what. This shows you that you are committed. With teaching them cultures, you are going the extra mile. You deserve much more then you get I am sure, but thank you. You are right about the competitive nature of fitness. It is classified like that. And in doing so, it does make it worse. Example. The obese child runs to kick the ball, misses it, and everyone laughs. He only played because he fit in. He is already use to children calling him names. Now, he does not want to play ever again. He is in the "coma" once again. Why? Because it is classified as "competitive". Perfect point marcoujor. I hope it will get the awareness it needs one day. Thank you so much for your comment and thanks. Have a good weekend.


eventsyoudesign profile image

eventsyoudesign 5 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

I think you hit the nail on the head. Teaching children how to eat healthy is the parents responsibility. It is to easy to throw something in the micro wave or open a box of sugary cereal and give it to your kids as opposed to actually preparing them a nutritious meal. Sit them in front of the TV so that it can babysit them instead of going for a walk with them. Good article. I agree it starts at home.


Richard83 profile image

Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

EYD, thanks so much for the comment. That is correct. We as parents can teach our children what is needed. We can prevent it.


Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

When I was young, I don't remember seeing the large number of obese children that I now do. I know one child in my boyfriend's family who is over 160 pounds at the age of 8 and everyone just feeds her junk and encourages a lifestyle of movies and computers as opposed to going outside to play. It all begins with the parents but the problem is there are so many parents who see absolutely no problem with this.

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