Childhood Obesity : Why Are American Children Today, So Obese?
April 30, 2015
Forty years ago, in America, childhood obesity was hardly even heard of. A survey done in the early 1970s showed that 6.1% of children between the ages 12 and 19 were overweight. Eight years later the same survey was done and 17.4% were considered overweight (Iannelli). “Childhood obesity epidemic in America is now a confirmed fact, since the number of overweight or obese children has more than tripled during the last 30 years” (Childhood Obesity Epidemic). “Over the last 20 years, the prevalence of obesity in children aged 6 to 11 years has tripled from 6.5% to 19.6%” (Childhood Obesity Epidemic). As a nation these statistics should be alarming. Why are American children today, so obese?
Before pointing fingers at any one reason, the causes of obesity must first be considered. Some of the causes are environmental factors, social factors and medication. Environmental factors, including overeating, lack of physical activity, eating out too often, and school lunches (Schoenstadt). “The top two causes of obesity in children are the unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. A sedentary life along with a fat rich diet will also result in obesity” (Schoenstadt). Social factors may be either not having enough money or even low levels of education. Medication is also a contributor because certain drugs can cause weight gain (Schoenstadt).
Overeating plays an enormous role in today’s obesity epidemic. Most…