Jan 212013
obesity in childhood

Some Reasons Behind Obesity in Childhood

If you’ve paid any attention at all to the continuing health care discussion, you’ll know that a large part of that debate is about preventative steps that can and should be taken by everyone to guard their health and reduce the amount of doctor’s visits over a lifetime. Of particular concern is the amount of obesity in childhood and the well proven relationship between eating fast food and obesity in children.

Although the exact definition of obesity might be the subject for some argument, what is not open to debate are some of the causes of obesity in childhood to begin with. That part is really quite simple; if a human consumes more calories than are burned in energy during a day, that human will gain weight. That is just the way it works.

What follows here is a sobering evaluation of some fast food nutrition details and the current USDA recommended daily calorie intake for children of various ages. Look no further for the reasons behind obesity in childhood

Calories in a typical fast food meal

An average double cheeseburger, medium fries, and a medium drink in a popular fast food chain restaurant provides you with this: 1,400 calories, 62 grams of fat, and 186 grams of carbohydrates. In one meal! By the way, this facts came straight off the chain’s nutrition website. And, Should you “supersize” the fries and the drink,the numbers are even worse.

Compare those numbers with these USDA recommendations for daily calorie intake, by age:

  • Boys ages 4-8 and active 2,000; Sedentary 1,400
  • Girls ages 4-8 and active 1,400; Sedentary 1,000
  • Boys ages 14-18 and active 3,200; Sedentary 2,200
  • Girls ages 14-18 and active 2,400; Sedentary 1,800

The USDA uses the term “active” to describe an amount of exercise equal to walking three miles at 3 to 4 mph as well as the mild physical activity of daily life. In other words, its not a very high bar.

When both sets of numbers are looked at together, the link between fast food and obesity in chibecomes obvious. If we want our children to maintain a healthy weight we need to keep them away from the drive-thru windows other than as a special treat (such as once a month).

There are now many different studies that indicate that the earlier in life children receive a healthy and balanced diet the better the chances those children will continue those habits throughout their lifetimes.

But kids will still want treats so you will need something healthy to substitute for the junk food treats and smoothies in all their numerous forms as a perfect choice.

The threat of obesity in childhood obesity not going away;  if anything it continues to get worse. But we can help reverse the trend by helping our kids make better food choices each and every day.

Fighting Obesity in Childhood

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