Satisfaction with one’s physical appearance is at an all-time low among today’s adolescents, and eating disorders are on the rise at an ever-younger age. Much of the blame goes to the media and fashion industry and their standards of beauty and fitness that are nearly impossible to reach for normal mortals. On the other hand, too many young people don’t take warnings about overweight and obesity seriously enough and underestimate the health risks they will be facing as adults.
As childhood obesity rates continue to rise worldwide, we are now approaching the level of a major public health crisis. While that is common knowledge among experts, the alarming news doesn’t seem to reach millions upon millions of parents who keep overfeeding their offspring with unhealthy meals and fattening treats. In fact, many of those whose children have been diagnosed as overweight or obese insist that there is nothing wrong with a little chubbiness at a young age.
For some teenagers, putting on some extra weight can be a normal part of their development. For others, weight gain is a sign that eating habits and physical activity are getting off track. As a parent, there’s a fine line to walk when your teen starts to show signs of gaining too many pounds. What should you do? Should you do anything at all?
Childhood obesity remains a serious health threat, and it is not surprising that parents and schools take much of the blame for their kids’ poor diets. But while there is no one cause for weight problems affecting children, food outlets may not be getting enough attention when it comes to food choices families make. In fact, grocery stores could play a much larger role in the fight against childhood obesity in their communities.
Insufficient Calcium and Vitamin D intake during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of osteoporosis later in life, according to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Unfortunately, many youngsters don’t get enough of these important nutrients in their diet, and sedentary lifestyles and indoor activities like watching television or playing video games don’t help.
As every year, millions of American kids will go from door to door this week, dressed up in imaginative costumes, asking for chocolates and candy. As every year, adults will be happy to comply, filling entire baskets and pails with the kind of stuff that we all know is not good for the health of anyone, let alone growing youngsters. Obviously, a once-a-year-occasion can hardly be blamed for the childhood obesity crisis we are facing, not just in the United States but increasingly around the globe. However, the ever-growing consumption of sugary foods and drinks, resulting in an array of chronic illnesses not traditionally associated with children, such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and cancer, is a serious worry.
The summer months should be a time when children are especially active, play sports, enjoy the outdoors, and perhaps even eat better because there are more occasions for family dinners. In other words, it should be a time when they are their healthiest. Not so, a new study from Harvard University found. In fact, it is during school vacations that many kids put on extra pounds.
The poor dietary habits of today’s children are contributing to their obesity, chronic illness, and ill health. They are also laying a foundation for poor academic performance, chronic disease later in life, violent behavior, and premature death. But children are not making these choices on their own; children’s dietary habits are ingrained by their parents.