Causes of childhood obesity are generally well known, not really a secret from anyone. However, there are some causes that people might not take into account. We all know about causes such as poor diet and lack of exercise, but genetics also plays a big role.
Diet and exercise fit under the lifestyles category. These are the two factors that everyone agrees on. However, there are also genetic factors, and even hormonal factors that can cause obesity.
Let's take an in depth look at some of these causes.
· Lack of Exercise. Lack of exercise is one of the key causes of childhood obesity. If children aren't active, they can't burn off calories. This leads to fat build up. The biggest contributor to this factor is the invention of video games. Video games are so good now, that they replace the real world with a fantasy world. Kids are much more engaged in this fantasy world, and loss their motivation for going outside.
· Diet. The American diet is becoming more and more tainted every year. In our society, faster is better. We no longer have the time to sit down and have meals together. Instead, we replace those meals with quick alternatives such as TV dinners and snacks. Unfortunately, quick meals are high in fat and high in calories. Combined with the lack of exercise, these meals pack on the pounds.
· Mental Factors: Just as adults, kids who struggle with being kids, can use food as a stress reliever. If a kid feels stressed out, he can see food as a comfort. Eating to feel good is one of the looked over causes of childhood obesity.
· Economic Factors. Kids who grow up in low income families are at a high risk of obesity. Unfortunately, the cost of healthy food is a lot more than the unhealthy alternatives. Many of these families have no choice but to buy the cheaper unhealthier foods.
· Family History. Family history (genetics) can play a huge role in the weight of a kid. A kid who comes from an overweight family is at a higher risk of being overweight themselves, especially if the overweight family keeps a lot of snack foods in the house to fill their cravings as well.
Whether these causes of childhood obesity are common or not, the fact is we are in a crisis. Our kids are becoming more overweight everyday, and there seems to be nothing we can do about it. The fact is, we have to do something about it. And, we have to do something soon.