Childhood Obesity Essay

2390 words - 10 pages

The first issue that contributes to the nation’s obesity rates is that of learned behaviors. Children are very impressionable at a young age and often may mimic what their parents or older siblings do as a form of learning. Therefore if a sibling or adult has poor eating habits a child will develop them through the learning process and will not know that the behavior is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle (Kaneshiro, 2012). Children are also very good at understanding when to stop eating due to the sensation of fullness. Children usually stop as soon as their bodies signal that they are full. But this natural sensation may be overridden especially after significant amounts of training from bad habits. Often times, parents force their children to clean their plates, and often offer some sort of incentive to do so such as a sweet food item, or more video game time. Unfortunately, this standard of plate cleaning has led the many of the nation’s youth to develop the ability to ignore their sense of fullness and continue to consume calories that eventually lead to excess weight.
Children are also prone to developing eating behaviors that they will carry into adulthood. In fact, many eating habits are developed at a young age. These eating habits impact what type of foods an individual prefers, when, where, and how much to eat. In addition to, other learned eating behaviors are ones of reward, comfort food, and food or candy to express love (Kaneshiro, 2012). These learned habits develop quickly, are extremely hard to break, and may inadvertently cause a child to be obese.
The next issue that is contributing to the alarming rate of childhood obesity in the United States is lifestyle choices. The children of yesteryears lacked electronic entertainment, which encouraged a child to be active, participate in sports, and explore the outdoors with friends. In past generations being confined to the home was the equivalent to a prison sentence for an active child. Today, children are generally exposed to over thirty to forty video games on at least three different major video game consoles, and many other forms of electronic entertainment such as over 200 digital cable channels. This entertainment often turns the nation’s youth into spectators which decreases physical activity levels (Price, 2011).
A lifestyle of modern technology has also adversely impacted many accepted healthy childhood activities. In fact, modern technology alone may be implicated in at least fifteen percent on the nations six to nineteen year olds being obese and almost double that on the verge of being overweight (Cespedes, 2013). Now days, skateboards and scooters are motorized, children ride power wheels instead of bikes or pedal carts. Therefore, previously accepted man-powered devices have become motorized. This trend in mechanization has led to decreased physical activity which contributes to the amount of calories that are not used thus the lack of...

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