Food is an essential component of your daily life. If you have bad nutrition, it can lead to obesity. Childhood obesity is a global issue, especially in the United States. Adult obesity plays a role in childhood obesity because usually if the parents are obese, the child is obese.
Some studies in the United States show that 61 percent of adults are overweight or obese. In America, twenty-five percent of children ages six to eleven are overweight or obese. Thirty years ago, one out of five children six through seventeen were overweight and the rates have doubled in the past thirty years. Childhood obesity can lead to adult obesity. Obese children have bad eating habits and physical activity habits, and genetics and family environment play a big role in obesity.
Obesity occurs when someone has eaten too much, or has a hereditary or hormonal problem. However, eating and exercise habits play the biggest role. Obesity is being extremely overweight according to the growth charts. Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the United States. Babies that have obese parents have an eighty percent chance of becoming obese adults. Children are labeled as obese when their weight is twenty percent or higher above the healthy weight for that age and gender.
There are many factors that play into childhood obesity, and obesity in general. The first factor is the most obvious one: not being active. Children who sit inside all day and watch television, play videogames, or are on the computer constantly are more likely to gain weight. Lack of exercise and eating when bored leads to overweight and obese children. You want to go outside and do a lot of physical activity in order to stay healthy.
The next factor that takes you on the road to childhood obesity is your diet. If you eat chips, cookies, or other high-calorie foods, you are almost guaranteed to gain weight. You need to balance your diet well. High-calorie foods are okay once in a while, but when you eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday, you are in big trouble. High-fat foods are extremely high in calories. Candy, desserts, and soda, which are high –sugar foods also cause weight gain.
Family genetics are important because genetics can make it easier to gain weight. People can help to not gain weight, and need to be extra careful of that. If a child comes from a family of overweight or obese people, they are liable to put on extra weight by genetics. Especially if the child is exposed to high-calorie foods constantly, and can get them any time he or she wants. If the parents buy and enjoy high-calorie foods, they are going to be in the kitchen, so the child can get access to them anytime he or she wants. Also, if physical activity is not a priority or is not even encouraged, then the child will not usually do it.
Another factor is very important; it is the psychological factor. When some people are emotionally unstable and are under a lot of stress, they eat nothing or very little, and some people are the complete opposite. They eat way more than is needed to stay healthy. I know from experience that my aunt had no problem eating way too much food from being stressed and worried about her son. On August 3, 1994, he was diagnosed with cancer in his brain, and was only four years old. This was a very tough time for everyone in my family. My aunt ate too much, and now she is struggling to lose weight and regrets what she has done. Some children and adults eat just because they are bored or just to deal with their problems, just as my aunt did.
The next factor is family influence. The parents are the people who shop for the family’s food most of the time. The parents are supposed to be responsible for putting healthy foods in their home. You cannot blame the children for wanting more and more fatty, salty, and sweet foods. If the parents teach their children to stay healthy as a child, they will carry that over to when they get older.
Then, the last factor is the social and economic factors. If you are coming from a poor or low-income town or city, it is much easier to go to the local fast-food restaurant and get the whole meal for less than five dollars. Children from these families are at a greater risk of becoming obese. Poor parents do not have the time to make exercise a family priority because they are always working, and they do not have the money to afford healthy food. I know that when I go to the grocery store, the organic foods and very healthy foods are much more expensive than chips and cookies, which are the not so healthy foods.
As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is true. Make sure you eat a large breakfast because people who eat little or no breakfast tend to eat more calories throughout the day, and that is very unhealthy for you. People think eggs are bad for the heart, lead to heart diseases, and are high in cholesterol. Although they are high in cholesterol, they have loads of protein. It is a proven fact that eating eggs does not increase a person’s risk of heart disease.
There are five main food groups that are critical in the human diet. These five food groups include: grain, vegetable, fruit, dairy, and the meat group. Oils are not a food group, but they are still important in the human diet, and you can obtain these oils from nuts, fish, and liquid oils.
Grain-filled foods are usually carbohydrate-packed foods. They include grain, beans, and potatoes. Your muscles need carbohydrates because carbohydrates convert into energy that your body needs to stay healthy. Most of these grain foods are made from white flour. Some of these carbohydrate-packed foods include: crackers, white rice, and pasta. Those are not as healthy for you as whole grains such as, whole wheat bread and brown rice. Beans are an extremely high carbohydrate food, and you need at least five weekly servings of beans. You need about 8 to 15 servings of carbohydrate foods daily. This is half of the total servings of all the nutrients that you should have daily.
The human body is about 50 to 70 percent water. There is no storage for the water in the human body and it has to be replaced continuously. It is important to keep yourself hydrated. Water can be obtained from the following: foods, drinks, and energy metabolism. Make sure you keep water or something with you at all times to hydrate yourself.
Vegetables are so important for you, and it does not matter if they are fresh, frozen or canned. There are five subgroups of vegetables. These groups include the following: starchy, green/leafy, orange, beans and pea, and other kinds of vegetables. Some of the vegetables include: beans, broccoli, carrots, spinach, lima beans, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, and green peas.
Fruits are also important aside from vegetables. Some fruits that are healthy for you are apples, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe, juices (apple juice, orange juice, etc.) and mixed fruit (fruit cocktail). You should have about three to five servings of any kind of fruit daily.
Meats and beans is a category that is probably one of the most important categories because these are the protein-filled foods. Meats and beans have six subgroups. These subgroups include: meats, poultry, eggs, dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and fish. Some examples of meat are beef, pork, or ham, and poultry examples are chicken and turkey. Chicken and duck eggs are the two main types of eggs you eat. Dried beans and bean burgers are veggie burgers, and an example of a bean is pinto beans. Nuts and seeds are very high in protein, and some examples are sunflower seeds, almonds, and peanut butter. There are three different fish groups. Some finfish examples include: catfish, tuna, and salmon. Some shellfish examples include: crab, lobster, and scallops. Some canned fish include: tuna and sardines.
Nutrition and food plays one of the biggest roles in obesity in the world today. Childhood obesity is a growing problem all over the world, especially in the United States. Make sure to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, so we can keep this growing problem to a minimum.
All photos from www.freefoto.com; Public Domain
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