One of the major issues of this generation is childhood obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 12.5 million children and adolescents between the ages of 2-19 are obese in the United States; this number being tripled since 1980. These child obesity rates are alarming! This is not only a problem in the United States but it is now a worldwide epidemic.

What causes child obesity? Genetics can play a role but they certainly are not the only cause. I believe the real cause revolves around our lifestyles. I remember when I was much younger my mom was a housewife and my dad worked to support the family. She prepared all of the meals for my family. They were healthy meals consisting of various types of meat, vegetables, and salads. Now fast-forward 30 years and notice what is trending in society. Both parents are working and don’t have any time to prepare a healthy meal for their children. What generally happens when both parents work full time? They stop at any of the local fast food restaurants to bring home supper for their children. One study reported that nearly one third of all children between the ages of 4-19 eat fast food every day. These foods generally are very high in sugar and fat. Can you just imagine if they super-size the meals?

I feel another reason for the high obesity rate is that we live in the video game generation and there is a tremendous lack of physical activity among young people. I remember when I was younger we were outside running around all the time. Even during the summer months my mother wanted us playing outside and not inside. Oddly enough this was when the Atari 2600 and 5200 were just becoming popular. We spent more time outside playing football, baseball, and basketball and really didn’t care about playing video games all the time. I don’t recall any of the kids in my neighborhood being obese. So eating fast foods high in fat and then having no physical activity on top of that is the perfect formula for weight gain. It’s notable that organizations like the National Football League are encouraging kids to be more active with their Play60 campaign; play for one hour after school.

So now we have exposed the major issues that cause obesity. What are some attainable solutions for child obesity? It will not happen overnight but if we implement the following methods it will be a great start.

* Eat more fruits and vegetable rather than eating junk foods.

* Stop drinking soft drinks that are sugar laden. Drink more water and low-fat milk.

* Bake, broil, and steam your food instead of frying.

* Never allow your children to skip breakfast; it is the most important meal of the day. Missing this meal will only cause them to eat larger portions during the day.

* Sit at the table to eat. Eating elsewhere, like in front of the computer or the television, can lessen your awareness as to what you ate, causing you to possibly eat more than what is necessary.

* Prepare a regular exercise routine and stick to it.

* Limit the time spent doing sedentary things, like playing video games or being on the computer.

* Parents, set the example for your children by eating correctly and exercising regularly.

It is true that the number of obese children is increasing at an alarming rate and is a worldwide epidemic, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. By implementing the aforementioned methods and by making a real and honest effort to make changes, your child will grow to live a very long and healthy life.

Author's Bio: 

Michael has been working in the medical field as an EMT for the last 16 years and has been a consultant for the health and wellness firm, Immunotec, since October 2008. His goal is to educate you regarding ways to ensure that your health reaches an optimum level and it stays that way. If you would like to comment on this article and others like it please visit My Blog . If you would like to learn more about or purchase some products mentioned in the article please visit the Product Page.