Childhood Obesity: What Can Parents Do?

Cathy Wilcox
artist: Cathy Wilcox

Our kids are fatter than ever.

  • babies are being diagnosed as clinically obese
  • adolescents are being diagnosed with “adult onset” type 2 diabetes
  • children are being admitted to hospitals with hip and back deformities brought on by excess weight
  • young girls are developing menstrual difficulties attributed to obesity
  • kids are being fitted with CPAP units in an attempt to treat  sleep apnea brought on by excess fat around their throats.


And researchers at UCLA may have determined the root cause of the problem:

Parents who eat junk food are more likely to raise children who eat junk food.

And, surprisingly:

kids who eat junk food are more likely to be obesejust like their parents.


Not exactly rocket science, is it?

So, what are we going to do about it?


Stay tuned, in tomorrow’s post, I will outline some of the possible solutions to this problem.


If you like what you see here, click here for updates


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  1. I did an entire paper in college on this subject… I wish I still had it, but a lot of factors go into it, some of which you mentioned.

    Then there are the schools that provide bad nutrition (soda machines in schools, fried foods, no healthy options), plus children are generally lazier these days due to excessive TV, video games, and internet surfing.

  2. A major problem indeed. If the junk isn’t brought into the house the kids won’t eat it. We keep apples and other fruits readily available. Nice post!

  3. The parents need to be pro-active including healthy eating choices for all the family. They also need to be good role models. Just giving them a bite of broccoli or an apple while you have a candy bar is hypocritical and sends the wrong message that eating right isn’t for adults. More is caught than taught when learning eating habits.

  4. Obesity is a matter of growing concern. It is noticed that more and more children are becoming couch potatoes. After school,
    many of them relax on the sofa with packets of chips, cool drinks or
    chocolates while they watch T.V. 30 % of the kids below the age of 19 are
    considered overweight, and about 15% of these are obese. An after school
    program ensures that the child shakes off his lethargy and keeps himself
    busy. This also helps to reduce the child’s fascination for T.V and
    computer games.

    After school activities that promote social awareness develop the
    individual’s sense of social responsibility. It is seen that these sorts
    of programs not only keep kids out of trouble, but also help to produce
    responsible citizens. To that extent, they are valuable building blocks
    in a child’s personality.

    Times are changing and parents want their children to excel in academics
    as well as in other activities. This may be a reflection of the parent’s
    unfulfilled desire to excel – a remnant from his own childhood. Whatever
    the reason, parents today encourage their children to enroll themselves
    in various programs and develop the various facets of their
    individuality. Children too seem to be comfortable learning many things
    at the same time, and gain satisfaction from this.

  5. yeah, totally agree with dietspy that it’s multifactorial. it’s not just personal responsibility and the parents diet choices (though it’s a large part ) but also the availability of healthy food choices, of public parks/ pools and the prevailing social norms (automation/ tv and computer games) and knowledge about health and food etc..the individual and the govt/ ppl in charge have a part to play.

  6. Well the parent has the responsibility here, feed your kids junk food and they will be fat. Balance their diet with good stuff and they have a shot as peer pressure and junk food advertising will sway their tastes.

  7. I believe that knowledge on how to live a healthy lifestyle is the most important part to reducing healthcare cost and obesity among younger kids.

    Making healthier food choices at times can be expensive, but when you understand what a proper nutritional diet consists of, I think it can be cheaper in the long run.

  8. The thing that pisses me off more than anything else, is when you have a parent who worries about their child’s weight, starts feeding them healthier, nutritious meals, but doesn’t think they (the parent) are included in this process. You really think your kid will stick with eating chicken breast and squash if you’re having Big Mac’s every night?? Nope! It starts with the parents do themselves- kids have an uncanny ability to watch and reenact for themselves: “Oh, well Dad’s having a Big Mac for lunch. I want to, also! Oh, Mom spends every night in front of the TV. I want to, also.”

    Parents- put on your workboots. This is a family affair- not some special fat camp for your kids.

    Ok. Rant over.

  9. i think the obesity is bad for the children but the parents have to think they dot have to give to them more ad more fast food is to danger and bad for the children and the most important is to many obesity in this country

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