Childhood obesity is now a global problem, and is no longer an issue that affects just the USA but also the whole planet. There is no country that does not face the severe menace of childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is likely to cost us our future if we bury our heads in the sand. Obesity is a state of being critically overweight to such a degree that it affects the child’s health. The first difficulties in childhood obesity are emotional and psychological. These lead to sadness, loneliness and nervousness, and these children are more likely to engage in higher risk behaviours such as smoking and alcohol consumption, which makes the problem much worse.
This childhood obesity also leads to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease,
high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnoea, liver disease, early puberty, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, asthma and shins infections, and worst of all, cancer. Obese children grow up to be obese adults. Also of concern is the mortality rate, which is on the rise for childhood obesity and adolescent obesity.
Obese children suffer terribly from teasing, harassment, and discrimination, which leads to very low self-esteem and depression. Children who are obese have carotid arteries which have prematurely aged 30 years, as well as abnormal levels of cholesterol.
Eating in high street fast food outlets such as McDonald’s is one of the main causes of obesity in childhood. The fast food industries are totally at fault here, but so are parents. They allow their children to make the choices for eating when parents and family should be sitting down to a family meal with no TV, music or radios blasting in the background. Try to remember this; the fast food industries spend $50 billion each year on advertising AIMED AT CHILDREN. See how many websites these fast food chains have and then remember that 100 million children view these websites each month. Also, look at McDonald’s and other fast food chains. They give out toys. Who for? CHILDREN.
Now consider calorie-rich drinks. It is a fact that the consumption by children of sugar-laden soft drinks is a factor in childhood obesity. It is my understanding that in all the fast food chains, there are about 3000 types of drink and only.05% has any nutritional value. It is very difficult to refuse when your children ask you to take them to McDonald’s or another fast food chain, but it should only be a treat once in a blue moon. Generally, you should not allow them to go anywhere near one of these fast food outlets. Children these days are hit by 40,000 McDonald’s adverts per year on average. It is very difficult to imagine that a company such as McDonald’s cares anything about your child’s health. They just want your money and screw you and your children’s health.
It is also worth noting that there is usually a rise in obesity when there are fast food outlets next to a school. Children from these schools are more overweight and obese than those from schools that are nowhere near these fast food outlets and that run exercise classes.
A major problem in addition to the fast food chains is the physical inactivity of children. The majority of children do not take part in sport or physical exercise. No wonder countries are not producing world class players in their national teams and are struggling to attract the very young to take up sports and physical exercise. The children are now inactive due to spending far too many hours doing stationary activities such as using computers, playing video games and watching TV. It has now been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that reducing the hours children are allowed to watch TV, use their computers or play video games also reduces their calorie intake.
When childhood obesity is rampant in a particular school it is because the teachers are not motivating the children to become active and play ball games or take exercise such as biking or running. There should be a class of teaching solely aimed at educating children on the dangers of obesity, alcohol consumption, drugs and smoking. At home, the food choices for eating are the responsibility of the parents and not the children. Certainly let them speak, but do explain to them the risks and hazards of eating particular meals and not taking any exercise to help burn off the calories.
I shall continue to write on these factors affecting childhood obesity. There is a lot to be done and it needs to be done now, not tomorrow. Let’s get started today.
Wishing you all a healthy lifestyle, and speak soon.