Child obesity is considered a situation that the BIM of a child exceeds 95%. The child is viewed as overweight and as subject to risks of being overweight and therefore obese. Child obesity is considered a very multifaceted health matter that leads children to develop complicated conditions like diabetes, higher cholesterol, and high blood pressure in a child’s health. When the child grows obese, they tend to experience low self-esteem, and as a result, they are not free to interact with their peers. They, therefore, cannot even suggest anything while in a group of their peers, submitting to everything that the peers command even if it does not favor their views. Low self-esteem is among the challenges obese children face while in the company of lean children.
Some of the significant causes of obesity amongst children may include Diet. Feeding habits have proved the leading factor to obesity amongst children and adults as well. Many children, primarily those from noble families, tend to eat foods that are highly rich in calories like baked foods, fast foods, snacks from selling machines, and sugary drinks. These foods cause children to gain weight primarily due to the regular feeding of calorie-rich foods (Michels et al 2016). The consequence for feeding calorie-rich foods is none other than obesity. Parents and guardians are supposed to be very careful when providing meals to the children and ensure that the Diet is balanced so as to avoid the occurrence of such conditions as obesity.
Another leading cause of obesity in children is the absence of exercise by children. When the children feed and fail to exercise, they tend to acquire a lot of weight due to the presence of unburned calories. Many children eat and comfortably sit to watch cartoons on the televisions and play games on mobile phones. They do not have time created for exercise. After school or during the holidays, you will find that the children are so much indoors and do not have any desire to move out for any exercise. It would be healthy if the parents organize children to participate in doing exercises, balancing it with their favorite practice of watching cartoons.
Genetic factors, if again, are unavoidable causes of obesity. Some children are born from families of people who are generally overweight (Rios-Ellis 2019). As the genes bear the overweight, these children will not hesitate to display their obesity at their early stages of growth. The genetic factor is not controllable like any other factor leading to obesity. The parents or the families of overweight people can avoid obesity amongst their children to ensure a balanced diet and regular exercise by the children as they grow to see whether the gene will be condensed when subjected to such.
An additional leading cause of obesity among children is Psychological turmoil. Most parents subject their children to a lot of pressure, and as a result, the children find themselves in a situation where they cannot cope with the situation. The children overthink the situation and decide to eat much to make themselves comfortable and free from the pressure. Meals consumed add more weight to these children leading to children’s obesity. When they observe their children indulged in such pressure, the parents should look for ways to make them resume their everyday thinking rather than letting them deal with the stress the wrong way, which they think is safer, but in the real sense, it isn’t.
Socioeconomic issues are yet another major cause of obesity among children. Some children are born from areas short of facilities like supermarkets that provide plenty of snacks and sugary drinks. They thus tend to grab and eat the snacks proportionally. As a result, they accumulate a lot of sugar and calories in the body which when they fail to do exercise, they develop obesity at a young age. When families are far away from most perishable foods, they tend to buy them in surplus and store them in refrigerators, which probably may cause the children to develop obesity when they consume them.
Some medications have proved to be causative agents of obesity in children. Some prescribed drugs by the medical specialists, when taken, are witnessed to result in obesity to the children consumers of the drugs (Morgan et al 2016). These drugs may include lithium, prednisone, amitriptyline, gabapentin, paroxetine, and propranolol, containing Inderal and Hemangeol. When prescribed these drugs, the patients should be keen on any visible side effects of the medicine so that they liaise with their doctors to prevent cases of obesity in the children. Parents of these children should be at the forefront in observing these side effects.
Studies found that social and government policies have greatly influenced the health behaviors of children. Therefore, the taste in a company with price and hunger is the biggest issue resulting in the children’s choice and desire of snacks, sugary foods, and drinks. They are seen to consider healthy foods and balanced Diets obsolete. National Taskforce on obesity (2005) proposed economic policies like taxation of unhealthy choices, offering inducements for healthy foods. It has also proposed capitalizing on suitable entertaining facilities. Implementation of these policies will put the children in positions to feed on healthy, balanced food, and the recreational facilities facilitate exercises that reduce cases of obesity in children.
A number of studies have been conducted on the intake of fast foods by children. The research found that children whose parents work far away from their homes and do not want to hire assistants to cook healthier foods for the children. The parents go for the fast-food from hotels and restaurants to keep their children convinced and entertained as well as making them enjoy the moves when the parents are not present. As a result, the children acquire obesity due to increased calories in their bodies after failed exercises. Caloric-rich foods are the foods these parents take back to the children when they are off their work because they do not want to get tired of assembling the ingredients for healthy meals for the children.
Factors within the environment have proved significant causes of obesity among children. What is mainly considered in the environmental factors is the security levels. Security factors influence movement by the children in the surroundings they find themselves in. a study bears the findings that the majority of children are forced to drive to and from the school daily due to increased insecurity cases on their way to school. The acts of driving the children do not allow them to exercise their bodies, leading to the accumulation of calories in their bodies and thus obesity. Those few children who are brave enough and lack resources to be driven to school daily are seen to experience cases of obesity amongst themselves rarely.
Studies conducted on the causes of obesity among children have found that socio-cultural factors are also leading causative agents to obesity. Some societies are strict to some kinds of food which are full of sugary contents. Some Muslim communities, for instance, insist on the consumption of snacks by children regularly. In a significant way, the sugary content foods which the snacks have contributed adversely to obesity amongst the children. Children from other communities which insist on balanced diet meals and condemn snacks highly are less associated with obesity because there are no calories consumed in larger quantities to be accumulated in the bodies of these children.
Family backgrounds are another unbeatable cause of obesity among children. Each family has got specific kind of food consumed. Some families prefer consuming fast foods that cannot be separated from the children if it is the kind of food consumed by the other adult family members. They cannot separate food for the adults and that of the children. Children desired the foods which the adults in the family consume. Suppose the family members have their food preference on fast foods. In that case, the children will also create their interest in fast foods, and they are put in a higher probability of developing obesity. If the family members, on the other hand, have their food preference on a balanced diet, the children will grow to desire balanced diet meals and the chances of developing obesity are minimal.
In conclusion, according to the researchers’ findings, obesity in children is witnessed to be contributed by the factors surrounding the lifestyle children are kept by their parents. Causes of obesity in children have also been associated with the parents’ eating habits. The parents, being the directors of their children, should try by all means to avoid any avoidable situation which may lead to the children’s obesity so as to minimize low self-esteem by their children when in the company of the other children and most importantly, reduce risks of high blood pressure and other conditions unhealthy to the children. Health growth of a child is highly dependent on diet and exercise and this is what every parent should insist to their children.
Allender, S., Millar, L., Hovmand, P., Bell, C., Moodie, M., Carter, R. … & Morgan, S. (2016). The whole of systems trials of prevention strategies for childhood obesity: WHO STOPS childhood obesity. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(11), 1143.
Aparicio, E., Canals, J., Arija, V., De Henauw, S., & Michels, N. (2016). The role of emotion regulation in childhood obesity: implications for prevention and treatment. Nutrition research reviews, 29(1), 17-29.
Garcia, M. L., Gatdula, N., Bonilla, E., Frank, G. C., Bird, M., Rascón, M. S., & Rios-Ellis, B. (2019). Engaging intergenerational Hispanics/Latinos to examine factors influencing childhood obesity using the PRECEDE–PROCEED model. Maternal and child health journal, 23(6), 802-810.