The Facts and Statistics of the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Childhood obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. Did you know that 1 in 5 children are obese and 1 and 4 are considered overweight. Minority children suffer even higher rates of obesity. All of these statistics are very alarming and there are several contributing factors that have led to this epidemic. You should understand that childhood obesity affects children exactly like obesity affects adults. Both obese children and adults have a higher chance of developing hypertension, high cholesterol, low self-esteem, asthma, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
Here are some interesting facts about childhood obesity.
1. Both adults and children with lower education and income levels are more likely to become overweight or obese.
2. Children that have overweight or obese parents are more likely to be overweight or obese as well.
3. Children that were not breastfeed have higher risk of becoming obese children and adults.
4. Children watch about 10 to 20 food and drink commercials per day.
5. In the United States alone, food and beverage companies spend millions of dollars marketing their products to children. Unfortunately, many of these products are extremely high in sugar, fat and calories.
6. Obese children have a higher risk of dying prematurely than children of normal weight
7. Young female children that have physically inactive mothers are more likely to be sedentary and ultimately become overweight.
8. Statistics show that children and teens that spend more than 4 hours per day watching television or on computer are more likely to become overweight or obese.
In today’s economic times, most households have both parents working outside the home. Unfortunately this situation leaves children at home alone watching television or surfing the internet for hours where they are inundated with advertisement after advertisement for tasty but unhealthy treats and snacks. As these children begin to gain weight, some are ridiculed and bullied which can lead to depression and low self-esteem. With depression and low self-esteem, children can develop even more weight and health problems.
Parents of children that have a higher risk for obesity should be mindful of their child’s diet and exercise routine. These statistics do not mean a child is destined to become overweight or obese. It simply means that they have a higher chance. If both you and your child work hard and stay on top of your child’s diet, exercise and health, you can both break the cycle of obesity.