Excuses Surrounding the Childhood Obesity Rates: Debunking causes of Childhood Obesity

Excuses Surrounding the Childhood Obesity Rates: Debunking causes of Childhood Obesity

For many Americans with kids, their main goal is to give their children a better childhood than the one they had. Striving to give a kid every opportunity to succeed is the best thing a parent can do to help their child. However, with childhood obesity at an all time high and showing no sign of dropping any time soon, I begin to wonder, does no one consider building and instilling healthy habits in their children’s lives a part of their success? Parents in America need a serious wake up call; stop killing your kids!

Excuses, excuses...

Now, I am sure that every parent of an obese or overweight child has various excuses, like “but, little Johnny doesn’t like to play outside or exercise” or ”but, little Susie just wont eat anything other than junk food”. Considering that no kid under 16 has the money or transportation to buy their own food, the rate of childhood obesity can nearly entirely be blamed on only one thing; the parents.

So what about those excuses surrounding the epidemic? Are any of the defensive rebuttals for the supposed causes of childhood obesity legitimate? Realizing that the justifying of overweight children only hurts the kids is a good start in tackling the excuses surrounding the “illness” that is going to kill off our younger generation if we don’t turn things around.

Making excuses for lack of inactivity

If a kid doesn’t want to play outside, look around the house they live in and count the number of activities provided for him or her that require nothing more than sitting in a chair; TV and movies, computer games, gaming consoles, the internet, etc. All the little gadgets and games people buy for children encourage a lifestyle that is totally sedentary.

Want to get your kids outside and exercising? It isn’t as simple as pulling the controller or mouse out of their hands and pushing them out the door. Though that may work, once you’ve actually bought those gadgets, you will most likely need to try a bit harder than that. Take an active approach; get up off the couch yourself and go play with them, or take them for a walk or hike. Not only is it good for them, it’s good for you too (remember; adults are looking at a rate of 2/3 overweight or obese, too). Doing something fun and active together can even improve your relationship, and all the while you’ll be laying down a subtle groundwork for healthy habits for the rest of their lives. Worst case scenario, at least buy your kids video games that burn calories and keep them active!

Excuses about the kinds of food we feed our youth

If a kid “just eats the wrong things” or wont eat a vegetable that’s not fried or swimming in a sea of ranch dressing, you’ve gotta stop and ask; who bought the food? Who prepares the meals? Who is supposed to be in charge? Yeah, that would be parents again. If your kids are eating chips and soda as their main source of calories, stop buying them. Will they whine about it? Of course they will, but only because you let them get used to having them in the first place.

Snack foods, sodas, fast food and other junk food (nearly anything that comes in a package is nutritionally null and void and possibly even harmful to your health) can easily be replaced with healthier options. If your kid does not like it at first, hold fast, stick to your guns. If they have eaten like that for a while, they have a bad habit that they need to break, but you -the parent- make the rules. I don’t know of a child yet that has embarked on a hunger strike and won. But what about mom and dad’s eating habits? They like those snack food and sodas too! If it’s not good for your kids, it’s not good for you either. We should be trying to teach our kids healthy habits by example. Plus, don’t you want to live a long healthy life so you can play with your grandkids? Don’t even bring it in your home and it will be so much easier to make healthy food choices. And stop eating fast food! Cook healthy recipes at home as often as is possible. Involve the whole family; it can be fun.

Wake up America!

Wake up America; if you are really concerned about our youth's overall success in life, focus on building healthy habits, if not more than anything else. Being healthy leads to hundreds of positive effects on your child’s success; higher self esteem, fewer days spent sick, and lower chances of various diseases later in life, such as diabetes or heart disease. Sometimes you have to say “no” when looking out for your children's best interest and that is a better gift than anything you can buy at a store.

Possible solutions

The truth about childhood obesity solutions is that if we keep looking for one, our problem is just going to get bigger.

Everyone is looking for a magic solution to stop the epidemic. The simple and blatant truth about the potential causes and solutions is the same as it is for overweight adults; eat healthy, and stay active. Just move more and eat less (or at least eat healthily).

Until we realize that there is no magic fix and embrace that the only way to beat obesity is through diligent healthy habits, both the adult and childhood obesity rates will likely just keep climbing.