Childhood Obesity: Can We Reduce the Risk Factors?


Childhood ObesityObesity and overweight in kids and young people have become a real problem of the modern world. It is estimated that in Canada, the rates of obesity among children have risen drastically during the previous two decades. The following childhood obesity essay represents an attempt to raise public awareness regarding the ever-increasing problem of child obesity. The child obesity essay presented below will try to answer the question of why the public should be concerned about the issues of overweight and obesity in kids and youth. The following paper represents a persuasive essay on childhood obesity as it is aimed at making the world community aware of the ever-growing problem of child obesity. Just like all essays on childhood obesity, current paper will try to analyze the causes and effects of the disease. Like other childhood obesity essays, the following argumentative essay on childhood obesity will provide arguments regarding the on-going tendency of overweight in children and young people. The current essay on childhood obesity will also provide a few recommendations as for how to tackle the problem in an efficient manner. Thus, the current essay about childhood obesity will start from observing the statistics of obesity in children in the United States and Canada.

It is estimated that at the end of the previous century, only 2% of young people up to 17 years of age could be regarded as chronically obese. However, only a decade later, this rate grew to 9% for girls and 10% for boys. This means that one in four children in the United States and Canada suffers from overweight. Why should the public be concerned about obesity and overweight in children? In fact, obesity has a negative impact not only on the appearance of children, but also on their health and overall wellbeing. Obese people are much more likely to suffer from such health problems as elevated blood pressure, increased level of cholesterol and insulin, type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders, as well as kidney and liver problems. The issue of obesity and overweight in children is also associated with a number of psychological problems such as insufficient level of self-esteem and the state of depression. Even though not all overweight children have such health problems, experts in this field often find that obese children tend to suffer from various health conditions. For instance, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in overweight children has rapidly increased. Furthermore, obese kids are more likely to suffer from overweight than adults. Obesity often puts the health of children at a lifelong risk.

What are the causes of child obesity? The causes of obesity in children are diverse and may include environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the development of this disease. In fact, obesity and overweight are complex conditions that might have various interrelated causes. Experts consider that obesity can be explained majorly by the genetics. Specific ethnic groups are considered to be vulnerable to obesity and various related disorders. The studies on this matter have shown that some of the genes in the human body are related to the elevated index of body mass. Nevertheless, the causes of child obesity are not limited to the genetic factors. Thus, over the previous decades, strong environmental impact on children has become evident. It is suggested by some scientists that those people who are vulnerable to overweight are less likely to suffer from starvation and may pass their genes to their kids. Consequently, scientists believe that some of us carry genes that are resistant to famine.

In the modern conditions, environment greatly contributes to overweight in children. The industrial revolution and the invention of cars have caused great changes in the way people live now. If there is a need to travel a long distance, we usually use cars. Likewise, if we are hungry, we may just call or go to the shop in order to get a wide variety of products including fast food that tends to be high in sugar, fat and calories, and at the same time is low in nutrition. Besides, children tend to spend much time in front of the TV set or computer. Not many children nowadays are fond of sports and physical activity. All this leads to the development of eating disorders and consequently results in overweight and obesity. Children are especially vulnerable to the surrounding environment as they do not have an ability to change it. Children do not always have an opportunity to choose what they want to eat, while their parents often disregard the need for physical activity and proper eating habits. That is why it can be assumed that environment plays a considerable role in the development of child obesity.

Can we alter the risk factors for child obesity? It is a fact that genes cannot be changed, but people have a chance to change the environment they live in. The whole family should think of how to change the eating habits for the better and help children become healthier and more active. If a child has only an hour of physical activity a day, it is unlikely that this will have much effect on his/her wellbeing, especially if his/her parents do not find it necessary to go in for sports themselves. People should be aware of the problem of child obesity, and this awareness will help to change the situation. It is recommended that all members of the family should do the following:

  • Eat breakfast on a regular basis;
  • Go in for sports;
  • Watch television as little as possible;
  • Get enough sleep.

These simple rules will help to solve the problem of childhood obesity. Families should not blame their children for being obese, but they should rather try to help them become healthier and adopt healthy eating habits. Many families do not always have the resources they need, which includes time, knowledge and money to buy nutritious products and go in for sports on a regular basis. However, even families with high income sometimes have various environmental barriers that prevent them from taking care of their children’s health. Nevertheless, it is easier to prevent child obesity than to treat it; hence families should reconsider their way of life in order to help their children overcome the problem of obesity.

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