by Darryl Jones (our Guest blogger)
Many parts of the world are experiencing problems with child obesity. Children are becoming overweight at very young ages. Here is more about this worldwide concern and possible solutions.
Obesity exists when body mass index or BMI is above 30 for adults. However, for children it is much lower, as body fat tends to increase with age. BMI is calculated by comparing height to weight. For example, a ten year old and fifteen year old may have the same BMI of 23. The 15 year old would be in the normal range while the 10 year old would be obese.
Child obesity is not localized to one area of the world. However developing countries like Mexico, the US, and the UK, are experience the most problems. Today's children are getting less and less exercise than just a decade or so before. The popularity of video games is one reason for sedentary lifestyles among children. One burns up little energy while playing hours of video games.
The ever-present internet has brought many good things into the world. However, it also contributes to the problems of many children that are not getting enough exercise. Many kids are spending hours online as they talk to friends and classmates in chat programs.
Exercise is no longer important.
Most kids consume too many calories because of the availability of foods high in fat and sugar. Junk foods are becoming cheaper as they are mass produced. Fast foods are very convenient for many families with working parents. Many people simply do not have time to prepare meals and sit and eat as a family.
In fact, it may be cheaper to have a fast food meal than to cook a nutritious meal.
Obese children face the possibility of many kinds of health concerns that can shorten lifespan. These health problems limit one's self image and can cause many emotional disorders. In the year 2010, the World Health Organization estimates than over forty million children in the world are overweight, and this problem is preventable.
Preventing child obesity starts with limiting video and Internet time. It also begins with a healthier diet. Families need to spend more time out of doors, getting fresh air and exercise.
It is up to parents to set an example for young people.
If parents tell children to eat healthy and exercise and they are sedentary and eating poorly, children are not going to be motivated to make lifestyle changes.
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