Is Your Child Overweight? Causes of Child Obesity , Preventing Obesity in Children

Posted on July 11, 2013 · Posted in Parenting

Children of older generations who are now middle-aged led very active childhoods because there weren’t any computers or TVs then and not so much homework from school to bind them down to chairs and tables. But the kids of today are victims of computer watching, TV surfing and video games addiction, apart from being swamped by school homework, all of which conspire to make them housebound and obese.

Is Your Child Overweight? Causes of Child Obesity , Preventing Obesity in Children

Some obese kids can hark their obesity to their genes but for the vast majority, there’re only two major reasons for this—overeating and lack of exercise. When children are coaxed to eat more because good food helps to build muscle and bones, they should add kilos proportionate to their growth. However, if they exceed this limit and pile up more calories than they burn, obviously it leads to weight gain. Apart from these reasons, there are several other reasons for the prevalence of child obesity, such as:

Unhealthy diet:

High consumption of foods rich in calories, fast foods, baked foods, chips, sugary drinks, candy and snacks from vending machines cause child obesity. An allied reason to unhealthy diets is snacking on foods between meals, sometimes, which accounts for about 27% of a child’s daily food intake.


If a child has obese parents, obviously he will be too. His obesity can be compounded by the fact that he is fed high calorie food and not encouraged to be physically active.

Medical problems:

Sometimes, hormonal problems and genetic diseases cause a child to turn obese. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome are two such medical conditions that cause child obesity.

Physically inactive:

Child obesity also results when kids aren’t out in games fields playing games but are seated before computers, TVs and video games, which makes their minds active but their bodies inactive. Due to this, they burn fewer calories and put on weight.

Inadequate sleep:

According to research, those children who sleep lesser than the recommended amount, end up suffering from child obesity.

Lack of discipline towards eating:

If a child gets into the habit of eating processed foods or ready to eat foods like chips, pizzas, burgers or candy bars, he will snack on them in preference to a wholesome meal. So, much depends on what parents stock their fridges with.

Coping mechanisms: When kids face problems they cannot handle, they turn to binging on food and turn obese and then they just cannot knock off the fat.

Socio-economic reasons:

Parents of impoverished backgrounds are very likely to have obese children as they lack the resources and time to buy healthy foods and so give them processed and ready to eat food. The need for exercise too is never inculcated in these children. This usually results in child obesity.

Preventing child obesity:

Aware parents and doctors can help prevent obesity in children in the following ways:
Stock the fridge with healthy foods: Parents know that their kids have a 4 pm hunger. Instead of giving them a chicken burger, they can prepare delicious and healthy dips and strips of vegetables that will satiate their hunger. Fruits like berries, apples and cherries, low fat yogurt, baked nachos with salsa and air popped popcorn will help them feel satiated and give them a healthy mini meal.

Insist on them playing games:

Push your kids out of the house and into the sports center to play a team sport or they could go cycling or swimming. Later, you can be extra nice to them by allowing them an hour of TV viewing.
Don’t let them skip breakfast: When children skip breakfast, they underperform at school. Besides, this is the No. 1 reason for kids putting on excessive weight.

Don’t serve your kids sugary beverages:

Little children should drink low fat milk and about 4 oz of fresh juice per day.

Breastfeed your babies:

If you are obese, ensure that you breastfeed your baby for more than the first three months. By breastfeeding your baby, you reduce the chances of him growing into an obese child. Doctors say that the longer such babies are breastfeed, the better for him. In fact, you can continue to breastfeed him for about 2 years. By doing this and by delaying feeding him solids, you reduce the risk of him developing child obesity.

By adopting some or all of the above pointers, you’re sure to build a happy and healthy family, far away from obesity.Natural memory enhancer