January 01, 2013
The children of our future are facing a many challenges throughout their childhood, Childhood obesity is one of the challenges that has caught my interest. Children of different ages are facing this problem. Question is, what are we doing, as parents, to help prevent this problem? Children cannot buy their own food nor do they do not know how important it is to stay active. Parents have a responsibility to their children to make sure they are growing up to be healthy. Parents must take childhood obesity serious or the problem will only get worse. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5 to 17 year-old’s, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CDC, 2011). Children should not have to face health issues such as cardiovascular disease. Parents are not taking childhood obesity as serious as they should. Without help to control their weight, obese children are prime targets for a variety of health-related problems, including heart disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, asthma, and sleeping disorders (Dietz, 2004). Parents are responsible for their children, meaning they have to take full responsibility for their children. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can haunt a person throughout their entire life. Both conditions can lead to heart attack and stroke later in life, which as everyone knows can be fatal. Sleep apnea is another issue that can affect a child throughout both their childhood and adulthood. They are buying unhealthy foods, allowing children to over eat, and in many cases not encouraging their children to be physically active. Many younger children do not know that over eating causes weight gain over time. However, as a parent, they should be monitoring their food consumption. Not only how much they eat, but also what they are eating is very important. Children should learn to have a healthy lifestyle at an early age. How and what they eat as a child can affect their lives as adults. Unhealthy habits can shape a child's life negatively. No child should have to grow up with diabetes or heart problems due to unhealthy eating habits. Everyone who even thinks about eating at a fast food restaurant knows the type of foods going into the body can’t possibly be good for them. We can also put blame on the availability of ready-to-eat foods in our homes. Today we have an overwhelming choice of foods available for our immediate gratification by simply opening up a bag or twisting off a lid (Holmes, 1998). Parents should teach children at an early age that eating healthy leads to a healthy life ahead. Also, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people aged six to seventeen years participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily (CDC, 2011). Most children of today's society are more interested in technology rather than being physically active. Video games, TV, DVDs, and computers have replaced time spent outside playing with friends. Children no longer want to ride their bikes, race, or play jump rope with friends. They much rather stay inside and play the Wii or the Nintendo 3ds games. When computer use and video games are included, time spent in front of a screen increases to over five and a half hours a day. That is way too much time for a child to be inactive. However, parents are responsible for the reduce activity levels. Parents are buying the unhealthy foods that their children are consuming. Parents are responsible for allowing their children to spend so much time inside in front of a screen rather than encouraging them to be active. Many have blamed the rise in obesity on a more sedentary life style, including the move...
References: Dietz WH. Overweight in childhood and adolescence. New England Journal of Medicine 2004;350:855-857. Freedman DS, Khan LK, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SA, Berenson GS. Relationship of Childhood Obesity to Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors in Adulthood: The Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics 2001;108:712–718. CDC. National Diabetes Fact Sheet: National Estimates and General Information on Diabetes and Prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Betty Holmes. “Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in America: What’s a Parent to Do?” June 1998,
Office of Communications and Technology Resource Center, University of Wyoming (307-766-
2115). Accessed November 18, 2010 from http://ces.uwyo.edu/pubs/b1066.pdf
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