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What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 23

Posted Jun 20 2012 2:14pm

As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! ( click here ) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Lavinia Rodriguez, Ph.D.

The two main reasons why childhood obesity is on the rise are:

1) The modern lifestyle for children is similar to that of adults. It involves more sitting than standing or moving around. Kids sleep all night, sit at breakfast, sit on the ride to school, sit most of the time at school, sit on the way home, sit at dinner, and sit while doing homework, watching TV, while on the computer, etc. Children are extremely sedentary.

2) With processed foods comes high levels of sugar, salt, and nonnutritive ingredients. Households are depending too much on these foods in feeding themselves and their children causing problems with obesity and all the medical problems associated with it (diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease).

One change which can have a positive effect for a lifetime is for the entire family to start a habit of doing things together that are active on a daily basis. Spending some time outside daily riding bikes, playing catch, gardening, whatever. It needs to be a family affair to have an impact on the child. Too often parents look at the obese child as the one with the problem when it’s a family problem.

Lavinia Rodriguez , Ph.D., clinical psychologist and expert in psychology of eating and weight problems – including eating disorders Author of *Mind Over Fat Matters: Conquering Psychological Barriers to Weight Management.

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