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Leading Causes of Child Obesity

One of the leading causes of child obesity is an unhealthy diet. While many parents would like to blame genetics for their child’s increase in weight, genetics is not responsible for this surge in childhood weight gain.

Insufficient Exercise

Many people would agree that “back in the day” insufficient exercise would never be a problem for kids. However, in age that dwells on video games, computer programs, and many indoor activities, children are beginning to focus more on instant gratification and less on old fashion fun (unfortunately, this includes playing outside).

Naturally, sitting in front of a TV screen doesn’t burn as many calories as playing a game of tag or wiffle ball. Therefore the caloric intake of your child is not being burned off by sitting indoors, and overtime the pounds begin to add on. So, give your kid an old fashion kick in the butt and get them outdoors to enjoy being a real (and healthy) kid again!

Excessive Snacking

It’s time to go by the rule “What isn’t there to tempt you, won’t be a problem.” Today supermarket shelves are packed with the latest “healthy” gummy chews, breakfast pop tarts, and more of the not so healthy options. Sure their labels push “100% vitamin C!” but it’s time to take a look at their other ingredients, such as 25g+ of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and more. Instead of giving your child all of these unnecessary and health compromising ingredients, place an orange in their lunchbox for an all natural 100% Vitamin C.

Pack your cabinets with healthier options for your kids to snack on. Try to stay away from the fried options, and throw some baked chips on your shelves. Keep your counters stocked with healthy fruit options in order for your kids to take in the recommended five fruit a day! Kids may groan that your lacking the sugar packed breakfast cereals, but let them enjoy that while on sleepovers at their friends- keep it out of your house!

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors are rarely the cause of childhood obesity. Only in specific cases, such as medical disorders, are genetic factors the sole player in childhood weight gain. One example of this severe weight gain in children can be caused by the rare genetic disorder known as Prader-Willi syndrome. Nevertheless, the rapid rise in weight gain cannot be attributed solely to genetic factors.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes a valid point that “the genetic characteristics of the human population [has] not changed in the last three decades, but the prevalence of obesity has tripled among school-aged children during that time.

Environmental Factors

There are many factors outside of your home that affect your child’s food intake such as child care, school, and community environments. Make sure you child care providers are enforcing your healthy eating habits while you’re not there. Pack a healthy lunch for your child that includes a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. In recent years schools have implemented programs that focus on improving the nutrition of school lunches, and focus on increasing the physical activity of their students. However, not every school is up to date, so it is imperative to take the time to pack your child a healthy lunch that will not only balance their diet, but improve their focus in school.

Find ways to fight child obesity here.