“Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the United States. Currently, estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year” (Obesity Rates & Trends). Why are more children obese now than they were thirty years ago? The day-to-day tasks of families are too busy, so families are cooking less and buying take-out food more. The foods that are not so healthy are readily available, cheap and generally have very high calories. Parents and restaurants are serving bigger portions than before, children are consuming more sugar in drinks and snacks, and several schools do away with or eliminate physical education programs (Curbing Weight Problems and Obesity in Children). Although school lunch programs, organizations and many other people have tried to assist to prevent childhood obesity, the problem starts at home. A study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that poor eating habits linked to obesity are learned in children 's homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has m...
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A common misconception about childhood obesity is body size. “81% of American boys and 71% of American girls who are overweight think their body size is 'about right’” (Kaplan, 2014). Parents are often in denial about how much their children weigh. A 2012 study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reported that about two-thirds of low-income mothers incorrectly believed their toddlers were too small. It is that type of thinking that leads to children being obese.
According to the World Health Organization, childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health threats of the 21st century. Although there are several factors that contribute to childhood obesity, parents must take accountability for what they are teaching and feeding their children. Parents are the biggest influence on the choices that their children make.
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