Childhood obesity is a serious problem. Figures indicate that more and more children are overweight, which will lead to short and long-term health problems. What can be done to combat this public health problem? Are there patterns in eating that contribute to your weight gain?

No more childhood obesity

In Latin culture, that a child was chubby was long considered a synonym for healthy. Irremediably, moms and grandmothers judged how well fed a boy or girl was according to their weight and more it was better. However, this is outdated and myths. The reality is that overweight and childhood obesity, because of these beliefs and bad eating habits, is a real and serious problem in almost the entire world.

According to figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) thanks to the results of surveys conducted over two periods. The increase in the weight of the US child population has been dramatic. The first survey was conducted between 1976 and 1980 and the second between 2003 and 2006. The results are not encouraging: among children 2 and 5 years of age, obesity increased from 5% to 12.4%. The increase among children aged 6 to 11 years was 6.5% to 17%, while in children between the ages of 12 and 19 the increase was from 5% to 17.6%. In other countries, such as Mexico, the numbers are even worse.

What happens when there are so many obese children?

They develop diseases related to this condition such as cardiovascular problems high cholesterol. Type 2 diabetes, depression, tendency to develop other eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia problems with their joints. In addition, obese children and adolescents are likely to become obese adults. One study found that about 80 percent of children who were overweight between the ages of 10 and 15 suffer from obesity by the time they reach age 25.

In response to these rising numbers the then first American lady Michelle Obama launched a campaign against childhood obesity which is called Let’s move. The idea was to change the habits of food and sedentary to avoid health problems that undoubtedly have an impact on health costs.

However, other factors contribute to weight gain such as genetics, environmental factors and behavioral patterns. Being Hispanic or Latino is having a greater genetic risk of suffering from obesity. Physical inactivity or lack of physical activity contributes greatly to weight gain. Studies show that children and teenagers spend too much time watching television, videos, DVDs and movies.

School: Children and adolescents spend a lot of time in school and it is there that they feed most of the day. Here both parents and educators have a shared responsibility to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity. Many schools are implementing changes in their nutritional programs.

Parents: they are the models to follow. The habits that are practiced at home in terms of food and exercise are very important when it comes to fighting obesity.

There is another factor that may not have been taken into account before: the famous snacks, snacks or snacks. Maybe it happens that at home you do everything possible to eat healthy and motivate your son or daughter to exercise. However, he does not lose weight. You desperately ask why and you find that it is because you literally eat snacks all day.

This could be the reason why childhood obesity has increased so much. According to the scientists, more than 27% of the daily calories consumed by children come from snacking here and there between the main meals. In Mexico, a large part of the problem is due to the consumption of sodas. It is estimated that 70% of children accompany their breakfast with a soda, which contains between 10 and 12 tablespoons of sugar!

If you think your son or daughter is overweight, see the doctor. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today: change your habits and your habits to improve your health and that of your children. Forget the idea that being fat is being healthy.