Forty years ago in America childhood obesity was rarely a topic of conversation. A survey done in the early 1970s showed that 6.1% of children between the ages 12 and 19 were overweight. Eight years later the same survey was done and 17.4% were considered overweight (Iannelli). “Childhood obesity epidemic in America is now a confirmed fact since the number of overweight or obese children has more than tripled during the last 30 years” (Childhood Obesity Epidemic). “Over the last 20 years, the prevalence of obesity in children aged 6 to 11 years has tripled from 6.5% to 19.6%” (Childhood Obesity Epidemic). As a nation statistics should be alarming. Why are American children today so obese?
Before pointing fingers at any one reason, one must consider the causes of obesity. The sources are varied. These causes include: environmental factors, social factors and medication. Environmental factors including of overeating, lack of physical activity, eating out too often and school lunches (Schoenstadt). “The top two causes of obesity in children are the unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. A sedentary life along with a fat rich diet will also result in obesity” (Schoenstadt). Social factors may consist of not having enough money or even low levels of education. Medication is also a contributor because these drugs may cause weight gain (Schoenstadt).
Overeating plays an enormous role in today’s obesity epidemic. Most Americans do not know or understand proper proportion sizes their bodies should intake (Schoenstadt).
According to the article How to Prevent Children From Overeating there are five steps to prevent overeating.
These five steps include:
Step One: Set a good example for children. Parents should sit down and eat with their children rather than grabbing food on the run.
Step Two: Do not reward or punish children with food. Find a different punishment or non-food reward.
Step Three: Set an eating schedule for the family. Doing so will make it less likely for children to overeat and be hungry, if there’s a set time for eating. This is especially important for younger children for their metabolism and activity level.
Step Four: Do not allow children to be entertained by television while eating. Television is an easy way to get carried away while eating.
Step Five: Keep children busy, doing so can eliminate the urge to eat once they become bored. “Never offer food as a way to keep them busy while you are doing something else” (Childhood Obesity Epidemic). A parent should always supervise their children’s diet and should encourage them to be physical active because they have a key role when it comes to how their child eats.
Another environmental cause of childhood obesity is the lack of physical activity. The problem is that physical activity has been replaced by video games, television, social networking and other technology. (Child Obesity Statistics) “It’s proven that children who watch the most hours of...