Childhood obesity is a severe medical disability that can have an adverse effect on a child’s life. Children who are considered obese are above the weight requirements for their height and age by carrying extra pounds of weight. Middle childhood is defined as the ages 6-12. (Rathus, 2017, p. 173). This age group is very critical for kids to grow and get proper nutrition and engage in their regular physical activities. Childhood obesity has many adverse effects that can lead into adulthood if not prevented early on. It’s important for children who have this harrowing disability to understand the causes to avoid further consequences. Even though family obesity may increase a child’s chance of becoming obese, lack of physical activity from their family environment can have a significant effect on a child’s diet and activity levels by watching too much television and engaging in unhealthy eating patterns.
Family environment and family obesity can play a significant role in childhood obesity and have many effects on the child. If a child comes from an obese family the more likely the child will become obese. Things like genetics may contribute to a small role in obesity, but the majority of it starts in the home.
Parents play a significant role when it comes to their kids eating habits. When parents create poor eating habits for their children, this will affect a child’s physical activity and create poor eating habits for the child. Although parents can’t monitor their child’s every move they can practice healthy eating habits, cut down television times, and promote more physical activity. Ultimately healthy eating habits start with the family environment, and it’s the first step for prevention of childhood obesity. When family dynamics fail to promote nutritional options and physical activity, this can lead to serious health risks for the child as well as the family.
Most kids love to watch television or a specific cartoon show, but physical activity is vital in early child development by laying a foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle for the child. Activity levels in children differ than adults. Adults tend to go to the gym whereas children’s activity involves playing, moving around, and exploring their surroundings. Children who engage in regular physical activity are less likely to become obese versus kids who do little to no physical activity. Some of many benefits of participating in daily physical activity are helping a child to maintain a healthy weight, assisting with their motor skills, improving concentration and thinking skills, and can help with a child’s sleeping patterns by giving them a better night’s rest. Children tend to be more active outside than indoors so it’s important to get them out and away from the television screen regularly to help promote their physical activity. By engaging children in physical activity early on in life children are more likely to carry their activity levels into adulthood and live a healthier more active lifestyle.
Unhealthy eating habits are one of the reasons why many children become obese. Many adverse conditions such as cardiovascular, orthopedic, metabolic, hepatic, neurological, renal, and pulmonary disorders are also seen in association with childhood obesity (Swetha, Gayathri, & Priya, 2018). Engaging in healthy eating patterns is essential for children to grow and develop properly as well as lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Children who don’t practice these are more prone to become obese. Some of the reasons kids become obese come from poor eating habits such as eating too much fast foods, fatty foods on a regular basis and eating excessively large portions. Also, sugary drinks like soda and juices can put more weight on the child. These sweet drinks don’t fill kids up the way food does and just put on unnecessary fat. Poor food choices will lead kids to cravings, poor health, and ultimately lead to obesity if not prevented early on. Practicing better eating habits like eating a healthy breakfast such as oatmeal will help fuel their bodies and prevent them from overeating in the day and perform better academically.
While childhood obesity is a severe problem that can affect a child’s life, it can be prevented early on, and it’s our responsibility. Caregivers have a major influence on children’s health behaviors and weight status. (Hopkins et al., 2018). It’s important that caregivers or parents act early on. Educating your child early on about food choices and the importance of physical activity can prevent a child from becoming obese. It’s essential parents get actively involved with their kids regularly by setting an example for your child. Parents or caregivers can set examples by ensuring they’re children are eating breakfast and getting the proper nutrition their bodies need to grow. Setting examples will help them do better in school, their daily functionality, as well as sleeping patterns.
Parents can also help their kids by getting them away from the television screen and limiting the time they spend watching tv by engaging their child in more physical activity whether it’s the park, playground, or enrolling them in a specified sport they enjoy. Parents who educate their kids early on about nutrition choices and engage their kids in more physical activity are less likely to have a child who suffers from obesity.
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