Childhood Obesity: The Parent’s Fault
Childhood obesity has been on the rise since the 1980's and is only getting worse. As a society, we have become lazy Americans and we are pointing the finger at everyone else for the cause of the obesity. As adults we make our own decisions on our health, but children are not capable of that. Parents need to teach their children good eating habits to live a healthy life style. It is the parents responsibility to prevent their child from becoming obese and the health problems it causes.
Growing up with two parents that worked for McDonald's, I became an obese child. I had easy access to eating McDonald's quite a bit, but I can never blame my obesity problem on McDonald's, as so many parents are these days. It is outrageous to point blame on fast food restaurants and the companies that produce processed foods.
Childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the last generation. “[Th]e percent of children who are overweight (defined as BMI-for-age at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC Growth Charts) continues to increase. Among children and teens ages 6-19, 16 percent (over 9 million) are overweight according to the 1999-2002 data, or triple what the proportion was in 1980” (“Prevalence of Overweight,” 2002). (See Table 1.)
There are mainly three causes of childhood obesity, two of which go hand in hand. If a child's parents are obese, it is highly likely that the child will be obese. If the parents are obese it probably means that their families are obese as well, so it runs in the genes. “Genes can predispose a child to gaining weight, but whether he does or not depends a lot on his environment, “ says Leonard Epstein, Ph.D. (Muha,1998). The third cause is that children are not as active as they use to be. That lack of physical activity in children today is probably one of the biggest factors.
Twenty years ago, parents would send their children outside after school, where they'd play...