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Child Obesity

Causes of Child Obesity In the last two years, chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity are spreading to the developing world (Cooper, 2005; Naik, 2009 & Ruskin, 2003). These diseases are very much related to a serious health problem among people especially in the developing countries, that is obesity. Obesity is considered as a global epidemic because it is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate and commonly occurs in both adults and children. Do you know how many of the population especially children suffering from obesity? It is globally indicated that 22 million children under the age of five are obese (Obesity and overweight, n.d). This is indeed an alarming number. Dr. Rao mentions, this is due to the fact that, The environment a lot of our kids live in is just plain unhealthy" (as cited in Gordon, 2009, p.2). This unhealthy environment is normally associated with more than one factor. Although many people believe that not following proper eating habit is the main factor that contributes to a childs obesity, actually there are other factors which cause obesity such as lack of physical activities, genetics and hereditary factors and also the overabundance of junk food in the market. Firstly, the lack of physical activities could be the one of the causes of a childs obesity. The modernized world allows children nowadays to become inactive. For example, the increasing number of vehicles in the world has decreased the number of physical activities among children (Obesity and overweight, n.d & Ruskin, 2003). As what has been observed by Cooper (2005), Children are no longer walking to school or riding their bicycles to school *instead+ theyre being carried to school or driving themselves (p.1). Briefly, children do not use up much energy as they should, because they are likely use the machineries that make their work easier and also contribute to sedentary lifestyle. Besides, the physical education at most schools has been ignored as many schools regard the subject as unimportant. As discovered by Cooper (2005), Gordon (2009) and Naik (2009), most of the learning institutions have reduced their time spent on physical education classes to

Child Obesity

concentrate more on their class learning. Other than that, most children today prefer to do less physical activities during their free time. For example, playing games on the internet or television, watching television and movies will contribute to obesity. Secondly, children who have obese parents are likely to suffer obesity through genetics. Genetic factor actually is one of the main attributes of obesity. Most people believe that genes play an important role in determining the ability of gaining weight of the body. Especially for chemical process that related to the fat storage (Collins, n.d, p.2). The major risk factor that increases the childhood obesity is parental obesity. Parental obesity is the most powerful prediction for adulthood obesity in the childs future. Naik (2009) who similarly reviews dozen of research discovers that child with both obese parents have an 80 percent probability and children with either of their parents obese have a 40 percent probability to become obese. Apart from that, family environment also influences the childs nutritional patterns which pre-determine whether the child become obese in the future. This is because the nutrients intake among the family members are similar (Cooper, 2005 & Eight Factors for, 2005) and parent who have bad eating habits will be models to their children and demonstrate this to their children (Junk Food Causing, 2006). So it is responsible for parents to get and choose the right food that contain nutritious value to ensure their children well-being. Bad relationship among family member have also been shown to be related to negative child eating behaviours which then lead to the fatness (Parent Power, 2003). Thus, the family background in dietary is very important to prevent the possibility of obesity among the child. Lastly, eating too much junk food could also be the cause of obesity among children. Junk food refers to the malnutrition food which has fewer nutrients. A prompt survey has observed that 150 extra calories are gained by children who eat junk food daily (Fast Food Consumption, n.d, p.1). The overwhelm consumption of

Child Obesity

junk food then will lead to the next negative effect such as obesity. People nowadays do not seem too worry about this problem and have changed the health diet patterns. For instance, children like to eat fast food rather than nourished food. Collins (n.d) states that, there are 157 million of children eat in fast food restaurants per month. This is because there is an increasing number of junk food manufactures and this junk food easily available. Even, school children have also been exposed to junk food (Collins, n.d; Cooper, 2005 & Gordon, 2009). The attraction of junk food itself can lead the children to become obese. Children, as well as adults are more attracted to food that has nice appearance. Thus, junk foods nowadays have all the properties to attract children including easier to carry, purchase and consume (Junk food facts, 2005). Also, children are influence by the TV commercial about junk foods (Gordon, 2009; Junk Food Causing, 2006; Magee, 2007 & Ruskin, 2003). Due to this fact, the increasing of junk food manufacturing has developed a negative environment in our community. As a conclusion, childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. A proved by a survey state that, [the] obesity among children aged two to 10 in England has increased from 9.9 per cent in 1995 to 13.7 per cent in 2003 (Eight Factors for, 2005, p.1). This increase is related to the main factors that influence the risk for the child to become overweight; lower calorie output through physical activity, metabolic factors from family environment and also a higher calorie intake than required to sustain normal growth. Therefore, the study of childhood obesity is important to increase awareness among the public about the causes that lead to this problem. Otherwise, the ignorance about the prevention of this disease will lead to a more complicated crisis. According to Ruskin, overweight during childhood will increase the risk for carrying excess weight into adulthood, potential for developing serious health complications and decreasing the living period (2003). This is why, preventive measures need to be taken and also expose nationwide to ensure a more healthy life for a better future to our children.

Child Obesity

References Collins, A. (n.d). Causes of childhood obesity. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from www.annecollins.com/child-obesity-causes.html Cooper, K. (2005, May 25). Kids and obesity: a growing problem. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=55706 Eight factors for childhood obesity. (2005, Mei 20). Daily Mail. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-349378/Eight-factorschildhood-obesity.html Fast food consumption leads to child obesity. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.weightlosswand.com/child-obesity/fast-food-consumption.html Gordon, S. (2009, July 12). Junk food, TV driving kids to obesity. U.S. News. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/09/25/AR2007092501041.html Junk food causing childhood obesity: study. (2006, April 22). Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200604/s1621655.html Junk food facts. (2005). Retrieved July 19, 2009, from http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/junkfoods/junkfoods1.html Magee, E. (2007, August 8). Junk food facts. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56170 Naik, B. (2009, April 11). Causes and effects of childhood obesity. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/causes-and-effects-of-childhoodobesity.html

Child Obesity

Obesity and overweight. (n.d). Retrieved July 20, 2009, from http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/ Parent power. (2003, December 19). Retrieved August 17, 2009, from http://www.nutraingredients.com/Consumer-Trends/Parent-power-the-riseof-childhood-obesity Ruskin, G. (2003, October 31). The fast food trap : how commercialism creates overweight children. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education/junk-food/