Children’s health has become a far greater problem than ever before. If you compare life nowadays with what it was about 30 years ago, challenges are far different and greater, so parents and society in general have to take a stronger stance to avoid medical problems such as obesity from running rampant.
When you think back a few decades ago, life was simpler. Children didn’t have computers, smartphones, the internet, Facebook, laptops, Xbox, Playstation and all the other technology devices that occupy much of their leisure time now.
Back then they would play outside. They would be engaged in various sports or simply riding their bicycles. They would walk their dogs or play games with neighbors and friends. This meant they were exercising and burning off a lot more calories than they ate. There were a lot less obese children.
Today’s lifestyle for many children is a very sedentary one, and this means obesity has become a serious epidemic. Children eat far more junk food and spend a lot more time indoors using their electronic devices. Parents are often too busy working to prevent this lazy behavior and, in fact, many encourage it because it is an easy way to keep them occupied. Unfortunately, this only makes matters worse.
In the United States, obesity is the biggest health issue, with 33% of children between the ages of six and nineteen regarded as being overweight or obese. The figures keep climbing so the future doesn’t look too bright. Statistics reveal that there’s an 80% risk of children between 10 and 13 that are currently obese to remain obese once they reach adulthood. If one parent is obese, there’s a 50% chance that the child will also become obese.
But obesity isn’t just a secluded problem; it increases the risk of children contracting other medical conditions as well. These problems include: diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, low self-esteem, gall bladder disease, heart disease, liver disease and problems with sleeping and breathing. More pressure is placed on all organs to perform at peak efficiency, and this added stress can cause further harm to the children.
When children aren’t happy with their weight and their physical appearance, this could also lead to eating disorders. Not only that, but they may also get bullied at school, and this can only lead to further problems such as depression, anxiety, stress and low self-esteem. Stories of bullying have appeared in the news more frequently and the victims are often obese. Some of these stories are horrific.
Parents need to take responsibility for their children’s health in as many ways as possible. They can help with healthier meals at home, as well as make healthy lunch and snacks for their children to take to school. They can actively encourage the children to participate in regular exercise and/or sport instead of sitting at home all the time, playing with their electronic gadgets.
Parents and society owe it to the children to help them with weight problems. If they make a concerted effort to do so, the children will be able to lead normal, healthy lives, free from the possible side effects that obesity and ill health can cause.