What causes obesity?
Weight gain among children is likely due to a combination of factors including: poor dietary habits, genetic makeup, family lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and a child’s ethnicity. Obesity is more prevalent among Hispanic, African-American and American Indian children, particularly girls.
Overweight children are not necessarily overeater’s. Unfortunately, much of the food they enjoy contains high amounts of calories. A child doesn’t have to eat huge quantities of food to put on excess weight.
An extra 200 calories a day (the amount in four home-made chocolate chip cookies) can cause your child to gain almost one-half pound a week.
Studies show that children’s excessive consumption of high-calorie soft drinks and fruit beverages may be adding to the problem. The average teen drinks almost 65 gallons of soft drinks annually; school-age children have more than doubled their consumption of these beverages in the past two decades. Children also eat a lot of fast-food, which tends to be high in fat and calories.