7 Reasons Children Are Becoming Increasingly Overweight

Ineh Olisah

Despite the fact that childhood obesity has reached an alarming proportion, some parents with overweight kids have chosen to live in denial. This is fueled by ignorance and the ever busy parent who feels the need to constantly stuff their children with all sorts of goodies as a form of compensation.

Here are some factors that are contributing to this increasing trend…

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•Genetic Factors: It is possible for obesity to run in the family. However this factor though contributory is highly over rated. This is because genetics alone cannot cause obesity. A child who has the genetic pre disposition but eats moderately and is involved in an active lifestyle may end up not being overweight.

• Unhealthy Eating Pattern: If you as a parent don’t eat right; guess what? Your kids will do the same. Children are natural imitators and if parents are heavy eaters and are already overweight the children will naturally follow suit.

• Television and Gadgets: Statistics show that children under the age of 18 spend an average of 5hours a day using some form of entertainment media ranging from the TV to gadgets such as Game Consoles, tablets (ipad, Samsung tab) and phones. The time children spend on such activities will inadvertently reduce the time spent engaging in physical activity as most children would rather sit in front of the TV or play the latest PS than play outside with friends.

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• Limited Access To Safe Play Area: Gone are the days, when children were free to play outside with friends or go to the neighborhood park. Nowadays the fear of predators makes most parents lock their children indoors and deprive them from the much needed physical activity that outdoor exercise provides. In fact in most areas the public parks have either been closed down or don’t exist at all!

• Negligence & Guilt Factor: parents are spending more and more time away from their children. This has resulted in many parents trying to overcompensate for their absence by buying lots of treats and sweets for their children.

• Advertising Unhealthy Foods: Interestingly the makers of the unhealthiest foods (soda, sweets, snacks etc) spend the most on advertising. They also make sure their adverts appeal to their target audience; children!

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• Reduced  Breastfeeding: It is well documented that breastfed infants are less likely to become obese later in life. However more and more women are deciding not to breastfeed thus increasing their children’s chances of becoming overweight.

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