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Food is a basic need that no man can live without, as survival depends on it. There are many kinds and types of food and, as every other aspect in life, there is food that is good for the body and food that harms the body. What a person chooses to eat, how a person nurtures his/her body, and how well decisions on what is being consumed are all parts of a person’s eating habits. Unfortunately, many people suffer from poor eating habits where the options they intake for food harm their bodies. For an adult, the benefits and costs of what he/she is eating are reasonably and easily identified. However, for a child it is difficult to make a beneficial decision about eating habits. This essay discusses the causes, effects, and proposed solution of poor eating habits among children.
According to Roblin (2007), it is hard to imagine that a child would sole handily choose how he/she shape their eating habits. But, as any phenomena in the world there are underlying reasons that motivate and drive children to demand or even deliberately consume food that is unhealthy. This is one way of considering a child’s eating habits as poor; the quality of intake. Media happens to be a great cause behind the child obsession over junk food, unnecessary sweets, and many other poor choices. Children demand the food that they see in the commercial and become very eager to eat it more often, due to its favorable tastes. However, as a child it is hard to truly identify the great harms coming from developing this poor eating habit. Commercials and television shows make such foods appealing as they are seeking profit, uncaring about the negative effects it might cause. A child’s brain has not yet fully developed and the media lures him/her to eat their products.
The second reason why children might develop poor eating happens, falls upon the parents. A child’s parent can be the cause of this issue in two ways. The first way is when the parent him/herself neglects the child creating an unbalance in food-intake timing. This can harm a child as not having a consistent meal time can have bad effects. This is another way which is considered to be a poor eating habit. Parents might also be the cause of this problem happening to their children when they suffer from it themselves. A child’s eating behavior and attitude is molded and influences by their parents’ habits as well. When a child views that eating in such poor habit is normal, the imitation usually takes place. Unable to make better judgments, the child grows up with these poor eating habits believing it is not harmful. (Brown & Ogden, 2004)
Pollert, Kauffman, & Veilleux (2016) stated that, like all the problems in the world there are two sides of parts, one happens to be the causes and the other is the effects. Causes are defined as the reason behind the alluring of getting tangled in the issue. On the other side, the outcome that happens after the habit is adopted, either it is short or long term, is known as the effect. The first effect that children can encounter due to poor eating habits is developing psychological problems. Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem due to poor body image are common psychological effects of poor eating habits. Low self-esteem due to poor body image is a real issue as it later on develops into eating disorders that only worsen the eating habit. Children from the age of 8 start developing anorexia due to the stresses they face from rejection due to their body image. These effects can really break a child and cause permanent psychological damage.
The second effect that poor habits regarding food intake can cause among children is obesity. This is perhaps one of the most common and famous effects that children who suffer from bad eating habits face. The larger issue regarding obesity is the many health issues that are interrelated with it. Obesity can cause many physical health problems can sometimes occur at young ages for children and sometime they develop as they get older. These problems include liver, heart disease, diabetes, and irregular blood pressure. For a child, the functioning of the brain might also be affected where some fats in the poor food children intake can worsen the brain’s ability to function in a proper way.
To prevent children from developing this problems many ways trying to fix or even cease the reasons and the effects of poor eating habits have been carried out by many people. Different approaches all over the world have been tried, yet the problem is still in existence. This indicates that the suggest solutions have failed to eliminate the problem. One of the solutions was to reduce programs that enforce eating unhealthy and promote proper eating habits through media. However, with a small amount of companies following this suggestion; no major effects have taken place. Children’s mind-set can be very difficult to change especially when it is about something that is presented as a happiness tool. Junk food, fast food, and sweets’ commercials have always and will always dominate the television commercial and TV shows. Hence, the solution failed and children still suffer from bad eating habits. (Roblin, 2009)
The solution, that might possibly work, is to change the behaviors of the parents. What a child eats and intakes should be in full control of the parent. This also means that the parent has to be a positive influencer when it comes to eating habits. Sessions for kids and their parents to bring them closer in the essence of creating a healthy lifestyle could be a really good solution. In this way, both parent and child benefits with an additional benefit of the bond created over a good habit.
To sum up, many children face the problem of eating food that is bad for them or even eating at times that are not regular also causing negative consequences. Poor eating habits develops even in youth and it can be caused by more than one reason. One of the reasons behind this problem amongst children is media. Television shows and commercial view junks foods, sweets, and unhealthy food in a way that lures children to want to try them. The sweetness of their taste makes the young attached to eating it. The other reason lies in the parents’ negligence where they either have poor eating habits that their children imitate, they allow their children of having such habits, or they do not have regular eating schedules for their children. This problem creates aftermaths for the children where they face consequences like obesity. Children gaining weight puts them in risk of many physical disease at a very young age that can be very hard to fix later on in life. Another effect that poor eating habits might cause to children is psychological problem, where even the serious disorders such as anorexia start at a very young age. Media was a solution that did not work as it wasn’t successfully implied as well as having more than double numbers of media commercial supporting unhealthy food. Having to change the behavior of the parents might be a solution that could change the facts as it does not only benefit the parent, but also the child and their bond.
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