Childhood Obesity Causes: Junk Food and Video Games

Regarding the incorrect diet among children, there is a growing concern that the availability of junk food in schools serves as a premise for childhood obesity. The problem of “competitive foods and beverages” that are sold in schools outside the existing breakfast and lunch programs has been discussed for a while now. Many scholars put into question the quality of these alternative foods and insist on the need to halt their further spread in schools. As Ogden et al. (2014) point out, competitive foods have a higher concentration of fat compared to those being a part of a meal program. Eventually, the presence of vending machines and a variety of stores selling chips and soda drinks contributes to the higher consumption of unhealthy food among children. The researchers state that, in the majority of cases, these stores are not subject to federal nutritional standards and, therefore, negatively impact students’ state of health (Ogden et al., 2014).

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According to Xu & Xue (2015), one-third of the U.S. children consume junk food daily. Such alarming statistics are mainly preconditioned by the fact that billions of dollars are spent yearly on fast food advertising. Due to advertising campaigns, the consumption of unhealthy food has increased fivefold over the last several decades. Children appear to be the target audience of those campaigns. The researchers point out that children from wealthier families buy junk food more often compared to those whose parents earn less. It is evident that fast food admirers consume more fat, sugar, and carbohydrates and eat fewer fruits and vegetables than youngsters conducting a healthier lifestyle. Their daily calorie intake results in adding up to six extra pounds of weight per year (Xu & Xue, 2015).

The Ways of Preventing Childhood Obesity

Concerning the videogames, there is also an adverse effect of those on a child’s state of health. It has been speculated by scholars and scientists that playing videogames may prevent both younger children and adolescents from participating in physical activities (Ogden et al., 2014). It is known that the Internet is overwhelmed with a variety of online games serving as the major source of entertainment for the 21st-century generations. While constantly sitting in front of a computer, children become less attentive, less aware of possible problems with health, and less interested in life activities. Moreover, youngsters engaged in playing various sorts of videogames show a clear tendency to consume unhealthy food since they are often “short of time” to have a normal meal. The stress they experience while playing a game combined with excessive fat they consume results in an immediate impact on the cardiovascular system and quick development of health conditions. Therefore, the time a child may devote to hardcore videogames should be strictly limited. It is in parents’ best interests to focus on that matter.

Outside the limitations related to playing computer games, parents need to unveil a beneficial side of staying physically active to their children. Adults should make it clear that reducing stress, conducting proper weight management, and strengthening bones will allow their child to always be in a good mood and have no health-related issues even in adulthood. Thus, nothing will disturb him or her from reaching the set forward goals and gaining both personal and professional success; doing regular exercises is the only requirement so far.

References

Ogden, C. L., Carrol, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(8), 806-814.

Xu, S., & Xue, Y. (2015). Pediatric obesity: Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment (review). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 11(1), 15-20.

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