As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.
Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.
I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.
I am a former athlete who is now a parent. It is my firm belief that the childhood obesity issue of today is the result of several factors. First and foremost, it is from parents who refuse to be parents. They are far more worried about whether their child will LIKE them. Being a parent is NOT a popularity contest. It is doing what you know to be in the best interest of your child and not allowing them to eat all kinds of junk food. Allowing them to eat just whatever they want to get them to shut up and quit complaining is NOT in their best interest. Another factor is that feeding them junk food is easier and quicker than preparing a nutritious meal. Nobody ever said that being a good parent would be easy or quick. Next, today’s parents allow their children to eat just whenever they choose to instead of at a set time thus leading to snacking on whatever is available. Last, but certainly not least, today’s parents seem to be too willing to allow their children to sit at home in front of the TV or computer instead of taking steps to get them involved in some type of physical activity.
Involve them in some type of physical activity at an early age so that it becomes a lifelong habit. I started my daughter in martial arts at the age of five. She got her second degree black belt by the age of thirteen. I use this as an example. Not all children are cut out to be martial artists. But there are so many different types of physical activity available. It does not necessarily have to be a team sport either. The main issue is to get them to develop healthy habits at an early age. It’s also a well known fact that strenuous physical activity helps to curb your apetite. My daughter now works out on her own and she is a junior in college. I don’t have to push her, she pushes herself. This has led to far fewer overall health problems.
Markus L. Horner, proud parent