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Causes of Childhood Obesity

Causes of Childhood ObesityChildhood obesity can be seen predominately in many nations around the world. In countries where people have an abundance of local and imported food sources, childhood obesity can be seen as an epidemic.

What are the causes of childhood obesity? Why are developed nations so prone to having high numbers of overweight children? According to the CDC, childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in past 3 decades. If we can understand what some of the underlying causes of this complex problem, we may be able to lower obesity rates and prevent adverse health effects related to obesity in children.

Health Problems

We all know that there are many health risks related to being overweight. Modern scientists and biologists agree across the board that being overweight comes with a laundry list of negative health consequences. Health problems associated include:

Causes of Childhood Obesity

There are many risk factors that seem to come from all sides, usually at least one of these factors is present in cases of childhood obesity. The following all increase risk of become overweight:
  • Poor Diet – The regular consumptions of food that contains a high calorie count and little nutritional value such as over processed vending machine snacks, fast food and candy all contribute to obesity. An unbalanced diet can also increase risk.
  • Lack of Activity – Even if a child's diet isn't too terrible, lack of exercise can help cause them to become overweight.
  • Genetics – Some people tend to store more fat than others and retain weight easier. But this still doesn't cause obesity. In countries where children don't have access to an abundance of food, there is virtually no cases of obesity except in rare genetic abnormalities.
  • Habits – Lifestyle habits are the number one factor that cause people to be overweight. Promoting habits such as eating fatty foods to excess and lack of exercise can be curbed to fight obesity. Many times overeating is a psychological issue that a child develops to learn to cope with stress.
  • Socioeconomic Status – Certain communities are limited in what foods are readily available. People of lower economic status have been shown be more likely to eat over processed foods such as frozen meals, crackers and cookies. People who live in very low income neighborhoods may be at the mercy of whatever kinds of foods government assistance can help them obtain, which usually isn't the healthiest option.

How to Prevent Childhood Obesity

This may be more than just a case of uneducated consumers. It's obvious that foods that are high in certain types of fats and a diet containing too much sugar or salt can lead to serious health problems. Still though people continue to become overweight at alarming rates.

There tends to be large numbers of overweight children popping up, and there is no shortage of consumers to drive companies that produce foods and encourage unhealthy lifestyle habits known to cause obesity.

This can be curbed by education as well as responsible entrepreneurs who look to change the fabric of society for the better. Many companies just appeal to the consumer, instead of trying to educate people on alternative, healthier choices.

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