The danger of obesity is fast on the rise, in children as well as adults. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that obesity in children and teenagers has nearly tripled over the past 30 years to envelop around 20% of our population. Since September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we thought we’d share some interesting facts for you to ponder.
In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researchers found that poor daily eating habits like filling up on processed foods and sugar laden drinks instead of fruits and vegetables contribute far more to health problems such as obesity in children than does even the dreaded fast food meal. According to Barry Popkin, nutrition professor at UNC, “Eating fast foods is just one behavior that results from those bad habits.” He goes on to say, “Children who rely on fast foods may tend to have parents who do not have the means, desire or time to purchase or prepare healthy foods at home. This is really what is driving children’s obesity, and what needs to be addressed in any solution.
Considering the fact that about 30% of the adult population is obese, there’s a noticeable statistical correlation between the health habits of a parent and the health of their child. Another study published in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics conducted by W. Stewart Agras, MD found that about 50% of children who have overweight parents become overweight, while parents whose weight is in the healthy range have kids with a mere 13% chance of becoming unhealthy because of their weight. So, the biggest contributing factor to childhood obesity is parents, both the decisions they make about their own health, and the decisions they make for their children, such as what’s for dinner.
Makes you want to rethink that large, greasy pepperoni pizza delivery, doesn’t it?
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