Though genetics or hormonal changes can cause weight gain, obesity is more prevalent in children due to unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. If the consumption of calories is more than those burnt, then it leads to excess and unnecessary amount of body fat. Research shows that number of children being obese or overweight are rising at an alarming rate. There are several causes that have contributed to its increase all over the globe. Let us review them one at a time.
Lack of Exercise
These days, children find it more interesting to spend time at home, playing games that include mental stimulation and not physical. Games that include children to run around and burn the calories that they gain from their food, are not a popular option anymore. Very few children are conscious about fitness. They either don't care about the weight gain, or care too much about it causing bulimia and anorexia. This is a very important part of the psyche of children these days, one which has contributed a great deal to the increasing obesity problem.
Snacking All the Time
Excessive nibbling can cause obesity. Statistics show that billions of dollars are spent on a daily basis on snacks. More so, children do not try to focus on healthier types of snacks. Vending machine dispensed snacks have a tendency to have a high calorie count. More so, the variety in the market, and amazing marketing techniques on the part of snack manufacturers, has really added to the list of factors leading to obesity.
Fast Food Rules
With the increasing popularity of KFC and McDonald's, it is evident that home-cooked meals are being avoided. It has been seen from studies that occasional consumption of fast food is not harmful. However, if majority of the meals consist of fast food, it can take a toll on the health. Fast food, is low on nutrition and high on the calorie count. As such, a person, does not feel fully satisfied health wise with it. This in turn leads them to consume more of it, leading to weight gain.
Family Ties
One needs to remember that a child is only as good as the rules that the family lays down for them. In the process of raising kids, the importance of health and fitness should be impressed upon. More so, meal times, should be maintained by everyone in the family. If the parents skip meals, and survive on fast food, the children cannot be expected to stay away from doing so.
Many people have a tendency to associate eating with emotional moods. Due to intense stress, even at school level, these days, children can lose their self-confidence. This makes them a tad more vulnerable to emotions. This leads to quite a bout of reckless emotional eating. Emotional eating is mostly with foods that are high in calorie count, like ice creams and chocolates.
Many researchers are also propounding that genetics (that is, low metabolism count in the family) is also a reason for obesity during childhood. While that is a possibility, it cannot be definitively stated yet. Fitness -- mental and physical -- can be maintained with the help of simple healthy habits like timely healthy meals, and regular workout.