Many parts of the world are experiencing problems with child obesity. Children are becoming overweight at very young ages. Here is more about this worldwide concern and possible solutions.
An adult is considered to be obese if their body mass index or BMI exceeds 30. This number is achieved by calculating one’s weight in relationship to their height. However, this number is considerably lower for children as they are supposed to have less body fat than adults and older children. A 10 year old boy could have the same body mass of a 15 year old (23). The younger boy is considered obese while the teenager is normal.
Child obesity is becoming a worldwide problem. However, it is greatest in developing countries like the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Children are becoming less active than just a few years ago. Part of this is due to the many activities that do not require physical exertion. For example, many kids spend hours in front of a television playing video games.
The popularity of the World Wide Web has brought many good things into the world. However, it also contributes to the problems of many children that are not getting enough exercise. Many kids are spending hours online as they talk to friends and classmates in chat programs. Exercise is no longer important.
Most kids consume too many calories because of the availability of foods high in fat and sugar. Junk foods are becoming cheaper as they are mass produced. Fast foods are very convenient for many families with working parents. Many people simply do not have time to prepare meals and sit and eat as a family. In fact, it may be cheaper to have a fast food meal than to cook a nutritious meal.
It is important for obesity to be treated as early in life as possible. Being overweight contributes to many health risk factors like diabetes and heart disease. Many young people face higher health risks for disease than their parents. In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) claims that over 40 million children in the world are obese, and it can be prevented.
If parents wish to do something about child obesity they should start with limiting sedentary activities and providing kids with healthier foods. Kids need more outdoor time to enjoy the weather and play. Parents cannot simply order their kids to have more exercise. They should lead by example. Children are more apt to follow directions if their parents are proper role models.