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Throughout recent years obesity has been a very important topic in our society. It has continued to rise at high rates especially among children. This causes us to ask what are the causes of childhood obesity? There are many different elements which can contribute to the causes of childhood obesity. Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons. The main factors which cause childhood obesity are, genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyles.
Genetic factors are one of the causes which contribute to childhood obesity. Childhood body weight is strongly influenced by genes of parents. Genetic factors in childhood obesity, shows that children of obese parents are most at risk of becoming obese due to genetic inheritance. Through genetic blood childhood obesity can be passed on or run through the family. As stated by Ogden (2011)’Science shows that genetics plays a role in obesity. Genes can directly cause obesity. In some cases, multiple genes may increase one’s susceptibility for obesity.’ Therefore, through the inheritance of genes directly from one’s blood, children can possibly gain the trait of obesity. They have inherited genes from their parents that make their bodies gain weight easily. For most children that develop obesity in their childhood, the cause which highly impacts their life is something which is uncontrollable. Sometimes weight problems run in families, but not every child with some family history of obesity will be eventually develop obesity. Children who have family members that are overweight may be at a higher risk of being obese themselves. Usually this comes from an eating behavior whereby the child maybe copy’s the eating habits of parents or siblings.
Another cause which can lead to childhood obesity is the lack of physical activity. There many children that don’t get enough physical exercise nowadays. Their overall health and lack physical activity to burn off the excess of calories from the unhealthy foods they’re eating. Children have easy access to the web and transportation which keeps them from going outside and playing. They mostly spent their time in front of the television, playing games. Children get transportation to and from school and this contributes to higher obesity rates due to the lack of further physical activity. According to Berall (2002)’ Ease of transportation, complicated by perceptions of unsafe neighbourhoods, leads children to rarely walk to school.'(p.326). As a result, the kids already are not burning up the calories by not choosing to exercise and add many more calories to their bodies. The body of the children find it hard to be able to burn off the calories when they can’t find any opportunity to get physical exercise. The reason being that the children in today’s society tend to not do physical activities because, their days consist of long hours spent on the computer and television.
One more cause leading to child obesity is bad eating patterns and lifestyles. There are many children that end developing higher rates of obesity through the foods they being provided to eat. They are exposed to the advertising of unhealthy foods. Children are exposed too many food commercials of less healthy foods and eventually are convinced into consuming the product. The abundant television advertisements are very influential and persuasive to the children’s mind. It’s common for children to watch excessive amounts of television. As stated by Rosenfield ‘The attraction of television and computers contributes to a sedentary* lifestyle and, consequently, to obesity. The problem is compounded further by eating in front of a television or computer.'(p.126). Therefore, fast-food resturants thrive on selling and advertising their products to children because, it continues to sell due to the high demand. The children get easily influenced and surprised by fast-food restaurants commercials and this convinces them to tell their parents to buy them more of these unhealthy foods. These children continue to eat these unhealthy foods while sitting in the Livingroom watching television. Children in today’s society tend to not do physical activities because their days consist of computer and television interaction.
In conclusion, there are many factors which can cause childhood obesity. Mainly being the child’s environment that influences them to make better choices when it comes to their diet and eating lifestyles. The causes of child obesity are clear when they are consuming so much unhealthy foods, not being able to get enough physical activity and outdoor exercises. Also, parents can influence their children’s genetic traits through passing them onto them by means of contributing to higher rates of obesity.
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