JoashyWhat are the causes of Obesity in children?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There's plenty of room to share the blame when it comes to obesity in children. Parents are primarily at fault, since they control what foods are bought and prepared in the house. Additionally, parents should closely monitor their children's food intake, whether it is in the home or elsewhere. Parents are also responsible for overseeing their children's physical activities, and too many children spend their free hours in front of the TV or computer instead of getting exercise outdoors. School lunches are not nutritionally helpful, but parents have the option of sending their own prepared foods with their children to school if they so choose.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I recently read an article about the situation here in Britain and how the number of seriously obese under 1 year olds has increased in recent years! Unbelievable. In addition to the other reasons given above such as the inactivity of children, maybe there is an element of education that we need to consider as well. Let us remember that with the arrival of convenience and fast foods, knowledge such as cooking from scratch and cooking healthily is something that is in short supply.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with all of the above posts and would also give some attention to the increase in marketing done TO children for foods that are not healthy. Fast food chains have received criticism for the use of toy prizes in their meals; there is more children's television programing on 24 hours a day, and the advertising of high sugar cereals and things like chicken nuggets and pizza rolls are constantly baraging children who are additionally probably watching too much television.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many different causes for obesity in children today. First, children today are not as active as they have been in the past. Second, due to budget deficits in education, PE classes are some of the classes which have been reduced and students are not getting the daily exercise needed. Last, but not least, the diets of children today are not the best. Many schools are on government subsidies and lunches. These lunches are not quite the healthiest for children.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Above and beyond all the critically important factors mentioned above, heredity plays a role in childhood obesity as well. This may be a direct genetic factor, or it may be that children observe parents/role models who are not physically active or who eat inappropriate diets and the children "inherit" similar habits and attitudes.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All the above posts are helpful. I particularly agree with the idea that kids tend to be less active today than they were decades ago. Most of the playing I did as a boy involved moving around a lot outdoors; much of the playing that takes place today seems to involve playing video games.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The prevalence of junk food commercials and the low cost of junk food are one cause, but the lack of recess and physical education in schools is also a culprit. As a society, we are just not all that active. We need to teach kids how to play something other than video games.
d7-ywn | Student

Childhood obesity occurs when a child is well above a healthy or an average weight of his/her height and age. However, the rationale for the obesity in Santa Ana in children is the same to the logic in adults, such as individual causes including genetics and behavior. Behavior can include the physical activities, dietary patterns, medication use, inactivity, as well as other exposures. Furthermore, other causes in society are such as physical activity environment and food, skills, and education, as well as promotion and food marketing.

However, the leading causes of child obesity are closely related to the community environment. This society has often been characterized by the conditions promoting the increase in consuming physical inactivity and less healthy food. This has been the primary cause since it is always impossible for children to make choices on healthy food as well as to get adequate physical activity, particularly when they are exposed to environments within their home, school, childcare center, or communities that are influenced by the advertisement of less healthy food. This implies that about half of the Santa Ana’s middle and high schools promote the advertisement of less healthy food, which has the potential of affecting the student’s capability of making healthy food choices. Furthermore, foods that are high in total calories, salt, sugars, and fat, as well as low in nutrients are highly marketed and advertised through the media targeted to adolescents and children; while on the contrary, advertising of healthier foods is easily ignored.

Several studies including Dawes (2015) demonstrates that because of economic constraints, the people in Orange County have settled in areas with low income that are commonly saturated with mini markets, fast food restaurants, or even the smaller grocery stores. Based on these studies, it seems that there exists a strong correlation with socioeconomic status and the rate of obesity in children. Besides, greater rates of child obesity also correlate with being poor. 

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