As we’ve learned in the news, childhood obesity has recently experienced a substantial increase in America. Some are even calling it an epidemic. Currently, one in every five children is reportedly overweight. And unlike some would suggest, it is not limited to certain ages or races, it is equally spread among youth of all groups.
Some would not consider childhood obesity to be as serious as obesity in adulthood. After all, it takes years to clog arteries, years to cause heart disease and heart attacks, years to develop serious obesity related diseases. But, common thought would also indicate that the earlier this problem begins, the earlier related diseases will begin.
In addition, childhood obesity can be emotionally damaging. They are likely to experience mental and emotional abuse from peers, which can result in extremely low self esteem, isolation, and loneliness. They may fail to develop basic life skills, and as a result, suffer in adulthood.
So why has this recently been labeled an “epidemic?” America has recently become a fast food nation, and 30% of parents admit that their children eat differently than they did when they were children. Less children eat home-cooked meals, more children rely on fast food due to convenience and busy schedules, and more children rely on TV and video games for every day entertainment.
In conclusion, remember, especially when children are young, it is important to develop healthy and portion appropriate eating habits. A serving of meat is about equal in size to a deck of cards, and parents should limit the time children are simply sitting around watching TV or playing video games. Get involved in sports, make a regular trip to the pediatrician to measure height and weight for a fair assessment, and above all, practice portion control not only for yourself, but also for your children.