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What You Need to Know About: Childhood Obesity

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Updated February 15, 2014

Childhood Obesity's Impact

Childhood obesity is now so prevalent that it is being considered an epidemic.

According to the National Institutes of Health, "The number of children who are overweight has doubled in the last two to three decades; currently one child in five is overweight." 2

Childhood obesity is not limited to a particular age group or race -- it's prevalent during youth and adolescence among both boys and girls in every race].

 

Childhood Obesity's Effects

While children do not experience as many medical issues related to obesity as adults, obesity during childhood can be emotionally scarring.

Children who experience psychological abuse from their peers often develop extremely low self-esteem, which may eventually evolve into depression. Obese children often feel isolated and lonely.

Because of this alienation, they often may fail to develop key life and social skills, which can negatively-affect their lives well into adolescence, or even adulthood.

A child's confidence is significantly affected by self-image and the perception of peers. The way an insecure child feels about herself can be entirely determined by her concept of what those around her think.

The bottom line: Even if a child seems to be physically healthy in spite of being overweight, the emotional and mental impact can be devastating.

 

What is the Cause?

The chief cause of childhood obesity is ever-worsening eating habits. The American Obesity Association found that nearly 30 percent of parents say their children eat less nutritiously than they did during their own childhood. 1

Eating well-balanced, home-cooked meals together has become a thing of the past for many families. Instead, we often rely on fast food ... it's cheap and convenient ... and fattening.

Another important factor is lack of activity thanks to TV, computers, and video games. TV in particular has been shown to have a direct effect: Recent research showed girls who watch more than two hours of television a day are more than twice as likely to become overweight as those who watch less.

 

Continued: Missing: Portion Control & Real Meals >>

 

 

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