- Imagine yourself 40 years from now. You are suffering from type 2 diabetes, you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and you are struggling night after night with your sleep apnea which is also causing you to be tired and drowsy throughout your day. You are going through each day worrying about your health, knowing it was something you could have prevented when you were a child. All these effects I have just mentioned are effects of a widespread epidemic, childhood obesity. But what is childhood obesity? Childhood obesity is a medical condition that occurs when the weight of the child is disproportionate to his or hers age and height.
During the period of the last three decades, the number of obese children has doubled in children and adolescents from ages 2 to 5 and also ages 12 to 19, while more than tripling in children between the ages of 6 to 11. Data from the NHANES survey show that the prevalence of obesity has increased tremendously in children ages 2 to 19 years old. More than 70% of these obese adolescents retain their overweight and obese condition throughout their adulthood. Obesity in an individual can be measured by a tool known as BMI or Body Mass Index. The normal range in BMI varies according to your age and sex.
- But what is causing this widespread epidemic among children? Today, the rise in childhood obesity has several causes.
1. One of the main causes of childhood obesity is kids eating too much and exercising too little. In this fast life, no one has time anymore to prepare healthy meals or exercise around their busy schedules. Children nowadays prefer hamburgers and pizza over nutritious meals such as salads and fruits. Many schools are not requiring students to take physical education anymore. Today, children find it more interesting to play games that include mental stimulation and not physical activity. Playing electronic games and watching television has made children hardly seen on the...