Essay on Childhood obesity

Submitted By tootsy75
Words: 1508
Pages: 7

Childhood Obesity: Private or Public Problem Obesity in America is a growing problem, more than one third of the children and adolescents in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Since 1980 the number of obese children and adolescents has almost tripled. Genetics, parenting habits and poor lifestyles, particularly poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are significant factors that have lead to childhood obesity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention article on Obesity and Genetics, Parenting Style and Childhood Obesity by Katie Hurley LCSW, and the Children’s Defense Fund explain these three factors that are causing the epidemic of childhood obesity. The question is; is the problem of childhood obesity a problem just for the parents or should the public, like schools and government get involved. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person’s genetics can be a major factor for obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has reached epidemic proportions where populations whose environments offer an abundance of calorie-rich foods and few opportunities for physical activity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010) The CDC also explains that the obesity epidemic does have to include both the role of genetics as well as that of the environment. A commonly quoted genetic explanation for the rapid rise in obesity is the mismatch between today’s environment and “energy-thrifty genes” that multiplied in the past under different environmental conditions and when food sources were rather unpredictable. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010) In laymen terms the thrifty genotype would be the same genes that helped out ancestors survived famines are now being challenged by environments that there is plentiful food all year around. It also has been argued that the thrifty genotype is just a part of a wider spectrum of ways in which genes can favor fat accumulation in a given environment. These ways include the drive to overeat, being physically inactive and lacking the knowledge of eating a healthy diet, a diminished ability to use dietary fats as fuel; and an enlarged, easily stimulated capacity to store body fat. Not all people around abundant amounts of food and reduced activity will become obese; nor will all obese people have the same body fat distribution or suffer from the same health issues. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010) It is difficult to understand everything about genes but the studies are becoming easier to understand, and the experts are finding ways to help if obesity runs in a child’s genes. Although you cannot blame everything on your genes, they do play an important part in whom you are. Family history can also play a big part, if your doctor can learn your family history, may they could help prevent the diseases that come along with obesity in the long run; heart disease and diabetes are two of the most common obesity related diseases. If one could control what they ate like healthier options other than fast food or junk food would help immensely. The environment factor is a little more difficult to control but if one makes healthy choices in life, the environment in the long run may not be such a big factor.

There are a few theories that come with parenting techniques and childhood obesity, following parent’s habits and insecure parenting are two of them. It is found that children tend to eat what and when their parents eat, and this could be a contribution to the growing childhood obesity problem. It is found that children and adolescents are more likely to eat the proper servings of healthy foods if their parents do, and just the opposite if the parent eat fast foods the children are likely to do the same. There also have been studies that connect poor parenting skills and obesity. According to Katie Hurley, LCSW, parents who regularly dismiss or punish for