Poor eating habits and a sedentary life style are two important factors that can contribute to a child's weight. There's a predominance of fast food restaurants in our lives that help make meal times quick and easy, while junk food is readily available for a go-to snack. Kids are spending large amounts of their time on computers or in front of the TV screens while less of their time is spent getting the physical exercise they need. Is it any wonder that childhood obesity is a problem?
For the answer, we just need to look at the reports:
It's not only the physical health that suffers, as the NYU Child Study Center reports: there are mental health concerns as well. Obesity-related concerns such as being teased and having problems playing sports are negatively linked to a child's sense of well-being and quality of life. Overweight Teen suggests that obese children and teens often suffer from some of the psychological effects of being overweight, such as being depressed or having low self-esteem, which could in turn lead to behaviour problems.
With 25 per cent of our children fitting into the obese category, it's time to take action. Childhood obesity is a a complex problem that should be addressed on many levels, from public awareness campaigns to government initiatives; but the real key lies in the home. By teaching children to make healthy food choices and encouraging them to live an active lifestyle, we can help ensure that our next generation will live long, healthy lives.
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