A recent study conducted by the Richmond County Health Department found that four out of ten third-graders in Richmond County are either overweight or in danger of becoming overweight. This problem is not an isolated case. Today's youth are heavier, and less active than ever before. The important question is what causes this new epicidemic of childhood obesity.
Genetics has been found to amplify a child or adolescents likelihood of being overweight and obese.
Environment is said to promote poor nutrition choices, inactivity, and negative social practices. Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is generally caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two, with genetics and lifestyle both playing important roles in determining a child's weight. .
Overweight and obesity is related to technological, social, economic and environmental changes that have reduced physical activity and increased food access and passive energy consumption. .
Increases in sedentary activities (eg TV, video games), use of the motor car for transport, decreases in physical activity, and an increase in the consumption of high fat and high energy foods are likely to be foremost among the causes of the current epidemic.
Poor nutritional choices and unhealthy eating habits. Also sometimes coupled with food addiction and compulsion.
Inactive lifestyles where they are on a daily basis sitting in front of the television, computer, or gaming systems versus participating in an active everyday life.
Overweight children, as compared to children with a healthy weight, are more likely to develop many health problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are associated with heart disease in adults. Type 2 diabetes, previously considered an adult disease, has increased dramatically in overweight children and adolescents. Children at a healthy weight are free of these weight-related diseases and less at risk of developing these diseases in adulthood.