Obesity Article


´╗┐Childhood Obesity


Researchers and other medical personnel have, in recent years, uncovered most of the factors that lead to childhood obesity. At the top of the list of contributing factors are:

- Diet
- Lack of exercise
- Family environment
- Genetics

In fact, one of the most important factors contributing to childhood obesity may be family habits and the home environment, according to information from the Mayo Clinic and other top medical research organizations. Most cultural studies and medical studies show that children between the ages of 6 and 11 cannot change exercise and eating patterns by themselves. When the child has reached this stage, many of the habits developed by living with the family are already formed. Prevention and treatment of childhood obesity begins in the home.

The dictionary definition of obesity states that it is "increased body weight due to excessive accumulation of fat." How much fat a person carries on their body is generally determined by how much of the substance is eaten in the food or how much of the food we eat converts to fat. Humans and other mammals have a natural energy reserve stored in the fatty tissue. We need a certain amount of fat as stored energy and for insulating the body. But this condition can increase to the point where it becomes a health concern.

Of course, it is essential that a child eat foods that will help reduce body fat. As most medical studies indicate, one of the leading causes of childhood obesity is kids eating too much. But just telling the child to eat different foods usually does not work by itself. The child learns from following the lead of adults in the home. To successfully work with childhood obesity other family members also need to change their diet as well.

In addition, ordering a child to go outside and play is generally not a successful way to deal with the lack of exercise that can lead to childhood obesity. It is certainly critical that, in dealing with childhood obesity, the child gets more daily exercise. But children in the 6 to 11 age group will often respond more positively to the idea of activity if other family members and close friends are involved. New family habits centered around healthy eating and more physical activity can not only help the child lose weight and keep weight off but can also improve the health of other family members.

As is the case with obesity in the general population, childhood obesity is not only a problem for a particular child but it is also increasingly viewed as a serious public health concern. Childhood obesity often leads to adult obesity. Excessive body weight in humans can lead to problems with the heart and with blood circulation. It can also play a part in some types of diabetes and may contribute to osteoarthritis. The best time to address obesity may be in the early years.