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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Children Are Getting Fatter and Their Home Environment Is to Blame

We know that the world is getting fatter. Take one look around you, and you will be bombarded with diets, exercise equipment and more. We know that we should lose weight, and we know that obesity is bad. Yet, we don’t really seem to do anything about it. And, unfortunately, it is starting affect our children.

When you consider there is a staggering rise in the number of people looking for bariatric procedures for children, it becomes clear that something must be done.

Understanding Obesity

The obesity statistics are frightening and sobering to look at. The percentage of people over the age of 15 who are obese in different countries is as follows:

•    30.6% in the USA
•    24.2% in Mexico
•    22.4% in the United Kingdom
•    21% in Australia
•    17% in New Zealand
•    14.9% in Canada
•    12.9% in Germany
•    9.4% in France

What Causes Obesity?

Very simply put, obesity is caused by three things:

•    Eating too much
•    Eating the wrong things
•    Not moving enough

We are sedentary, yet stuff our faces full of high calorie, high sugar, high fat, high cholesterol, processed food that contains almost no nutrition.

What it Mean to Be Obese?

Around the world, the most important contributor to poor health is now obesity, overtaking even infectious diseases. Some 300,000 people in this country alone die each year as a direct result of an obesity-related illness, including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes,  sleep apneas and more. It is even believed that, unless something is done soon, more people will die of obesity than what they will of smoking.

The most frightening thing, however, is the impact this has on our children. The chance of the child of an obese parent becoming obese themselves is frightening. In fact, most children of obese parents reach a dangerous level of weight by the time they are just four years old.

Children and Obesity

It is now increasingly normal for children to be obese. Over the past 10 years, there has been an increase of 30% in obese children in our country. It is obvious why this is happening: children copy the lifestyle of their parents. At the same time, our consumerist society plays an important role as well. There has been a 300% increase in fast food outlets between 1977 and 1996, for instance. The various industries involved in treating obesity are worth billions of dollars as well. So we are fighting a losing battle: our own poor lifestyle choices, and the constant drive from commercial institutions to continue to make poor lifestyle choices.

What it Means for a Child to Be Obese


Obese children have to deal with many difficulties. The first is that the health dangers for them are as high as what they are for adults. Not just that, however, but fat cells developed in childhood are even more difficult to get rid of. Then, there is the significant psychological impact as well. While more and more children are obese, they still experience greater levels of bullying. Something needs to be done.

This is a guest blog entry.

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