Fat is the New Chubby


There have been recent reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that currently over 17% of kids in the USA are overweight, and the number has tripled over the past 20 years. Childhood obesity is a serious issue with numerous consequences that continue over a lifespan.

There are a number of things that can lead to obesity. According to the American Obesity Association:

“There are many factors that contribute to causing child and adolescent obesity – some are modifiable and others are not.

Modifiable causes include:

· Physical Activity – Lack of regular exercise.

· Sedentary behavior – High frequency of television viewing, computer usage, and similar behavior that takes up time that can be used for physical activity.

· Socioeconomic Status – Low family incomes and non-working parents.

· Eating Habits – Over-consumption of high-calorie foods. Some eating patterns that have been associated with this behavior are eating when not hungry, eating while watching TV or doing homework.

· Environment – Some factors are over-exposure to advertising of foods that promote high-calorie foods and lack of recreational facilities.

Non-changeable causes include:

· Genetics – Greater risk of obesity has been found in children of obese and overweight parents.”

However, our policies influence obesity as well. The federal farm bill, which subsidizes crops like corn but does little to promote eating healthy foods, also influences the increase in obesity. Toxic chemicals like bisphenol A are also linked to obesity. To find out more, read the report.

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