The incidence of childhood obesity and its consequent risks have constantly been hyped through various forms of media. There have been rumors for governmental and social changes, but apart from exaggerated reactions, the fact of the matter is that obesity has become all too common among children due to the increase in availability and the lowered costs of food particularly in Western countries.
The emergence of fast food establishments like McDonald’s, KFC serving super-size portions have made sure that many will consume too many calories and invariably overeat.
The Lifestyle Of The Children
Comparative studies indicate that lifestyles today are more sedentary than they have ever been over the past decades particularly with the popularity of computer and Internet activities that children and teenagers spend a lot of time indulging in. The number of hours of physical activity has declined immensely as children spend all their constructive time either talking on the phone, glued to the Internet or watching television.
Rise Of Obesity Among Children
The result is that children are heavier and less healthy than they were a few decades ago. The consumption of foods rich in sugars and trans fat and low in essential proteins, fiber, fruits, and vegetables have been the major contributors to the alarming rise of obesity among children.
Measurements That Is Used To Determine Obesity Levels
Owing to their rapidly changing bodies and metabolic rates, measurement of obesity is done differently for children. Their BMI (Body Mass Index) is combined with their age and gender to produce a more accurate picture of their obesity levels as children often experience growth spurts that would normally skew any measurement of BMI if it’s used alone to determine obesity levels.
Comparison Between Males And Females body
Percentage of body fat is another important measurement which differs by sex. Normally a boy would be identified as obese if his body fat was 25% or more in comparison to his total body weight whereas for girls their body fat should be 32% or more than their total body weight.
A major reason for this difference in body fat is because females are naturally inclined to have a higher body fat percentage throughout their lives as compared to males. A healthy and fit male would normally have a body fat of 15% whereas for women the figures are roughly 27%.
Exercise To Lose Weight
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the main contributors to successful weight loss though it involves a certain change in one’s lifestyle. However, if imbibed in children at an early age, these healthy habits are maintained as they grow into their teens and eventually adulthood.
Therefore, the key is to develop a healthy and fit lifestyle at a young age so that it is easier to maintain as one grows older.