Childhood Obesity Causes

Some of the primary childhood obesity causes are:

Eating too much. Many children have eating habits and lifestyles that allow them to eat as much food as they want at more frequent times of the day.

Eating the wrong foods. Twenty-first century eating habits which lean away from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, other healthy foods and lean toward fast foods and convenience foods, which are higher in fat, carbohydrates and calories. Healthier foods are often less accessible and less affordable than unhealthy foods.  With a constant barrage of advertising, kids are more likely to give in to what tastes good to them-fast food, junk food and sugary drinks.

Not exercising enough. Many children are growing up in an sedentary lifestyle in which transportation-cars, buses and trains-takes the place of walking. Their leisure time is rarely spent playing baseball and running around outdoors and is too often devoted to video games, computers and watching television.

Genetics. A small proportion of obese children are prone to obesity because their parents have the same tendencies. A child who may be predisposed to obesity may need to take extra steps to eat healthy and get more than the normal amount of exercise.

Home atmosphere. Children learn their eating habits at home. If the family eats a diet heavy on processed foods, convenience foods, fast food and other unhealthy meals, that's what children will want to eat.

Psychological and emotional issues. Some children deal with stress, anger, anxiety and boredom by overeating. Food can become a comforting solution to negative feelings. Different children have different levels of willpower, and some kids find it difficult to avoid indulging in foods that they crave.

Factors Associated With Childhood Obesity
Experts identify eight main factors that are associated with a greater risk of obesity in childhood. They are:

  • Birth weight
  • Obesity in one or both parents
  • More than eight hours of TV watching per week at age 3
  • Sleeping fewer than 10 ½ hours per night at age 3
  • Size at age 18 months and 8 years
  • Rapid weight gain in the first year of life
  • Rapid catch-up growth in the first two years of life
  • Early development of body fat before age 5
Related Life123 Articles
Teen obesity is on the rise, and it comes with health risks. While there's no overnight solution, you can help your kids live a healthier lifestyle by joining them in a commitment to healthy eating and exercise.
The effects of childhood obesity are physical, psychological and emotional. In addition to the same health risks suffered by adults, overweight kids suffer from social effects that can be difficult to handle at a young age.
Frequently Asked Questions on
More Related Life123 Articles
The dangers of childhood obesity aren't limited to taunting at school. Diseases once found only in adults are now appearing in obese children.

Childhood obesity facts are alarming in the United States. Around 12% of children under 19 are obese and facing threats to their long-term health.

Fluctuations in weight are normal as kids develop, making symptoms of obesity hard to spot. Learn what to look for and why a pediatrician should examine your child if obesity might be a problem.
© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company