What Causes Obesity in Children?

Childhood obesity is on the rise across the globe. Data has shown that nearly 1 in 5 children/adolescents are affected by obesity (CDC) These children are at an increased risk of developing conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, joint problems, psychological problems, etc. It’s important to know however, that obesity is something that can be managed with the right information. Read about these 5 factors that affect the possibility of a child developing obesity. Understanding these factors is an ideal first step to good health for your child.


Behavior


Certain behaviors are linked to weight gain. Eating excessively or at odd times other than breakfast, lunch, and dinner is one. Not getting enough physical activity and following irregular sleep schedules are a few other behaviors that can contribute to the development of obesity. In contrast, behaviors such as playing outdoors often, eating vegetables regularly, and getting a full night of rest can help children stay healthy.


Environment


Where someone grows up has a massive impact on the values and behaviors they practice. It can be difficult for children to choose to eat healthy or spend time staying active if those activities aren’t emphasized or valued in their home. Try to make it a habit to remind the kids in your family to eat healthy and stress the importance of going outdoors and staying active.


Genetics


Though it may seem quite unfair, genetics do play a role in the onset of obesity. Genetic factors make it possible for some people to have slower metabolisms than others. Genetic factors can even cause certain conditions linked to increased feelings of hunger. Understanding existing conditions in the family is a good way to stay aware and minimize your child’s health risks.


Psychological


Mental health issues often lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. One of these coping mechanisms is food. Try to stay emotionally available for your children so they don’t depend on food to cope. Remind them that they have support, and don’t hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals if needed.


Socioeconomic


Children in certain communities may have limited access to nutritious foods. Economic stress can lead parents to purchase unhealthy food. As a parent this can be a difficult situation to avoid. Instead of wasting money at traditional stores, look for wholesale grocery stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club. They sell nutritious items in bulk for a low cost. Not only will you will save money, but you will also shop less often. Another great store is Trader Joes. They have super healthy and affordable food which your kids will love.



Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/children/guide/obesity-children#1

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html

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