Obesity has been seen as a problem for many years now but it is only in the last few years, and particularly since the millennium, that surveys have revealed some startling childhood obesity facts that have made us all aware of the growing and alarming problem of child obesity.
Of course there have always been fat kids but they have usually been very much in the minority. Today however this is no longer the case and the number of severely overweight children is increasing not just in countries such as the United States but across the world.
Childhood Obesity Facts – The Reasons For The Rise In Child Obesity
There are many different reasons to explain the current growth in childhood obesity and perhaps the most obvious that is revealed by the latest childhood obesity facts is the global availability of fast food which is high in calories but generally very low in nutritional value. It is no accident that a look at those children who are obese will often show them living on a diet of cheese burgers and French fries and similar foods. This ‘fast food obesity’ is also encouraged by the fact that most adults are leading busier lifestyles these days and so there is very little if any supervision of children’s eating habits in many households today.
One of the most surprising childhood obesity facts is that, while most people think that this is very much a problem which is restricted to the richer western societies, it is now many of the third world countries who are experiencing the fastest growth in child obesity. Indeed you might find it hard to believe that the countries experiencing a growing problem of child obesity today include Mexico, China and Thailand. Even in countries which we normally associate with hunger and malnutrition, childhood obesity facts today show that the number of children suffering from obesity is about twice the number suffering from malnutrition.
Today a staggering one in five children in the United States is suffering from obesity and, of these, about a third are already beginning to suffer from diseases and conditions which we have previously only associated with middle to later life. These conditions include such things as diabetes, excessive levels of blood fat and a range of heart problems.
Although the situation on the other side of the world is not quite as bad, nevertheless as many as one in seven children in Asia are now suffering from obesity. Childhood obesity facts surveys again show that this is largely due to the increasing appearance of western-style fast food outlets in this part of the world.
Indeed, no matter where you look today child obesity is rearing its ugly head. It is even being seen now in South America and Africa where the World Health Organization recently reported that in many countries where they found malnutrition rate of about three percent they also found obesity rates of six percent. This seemed incredible, especially in countries with good food aid programs in place, until it was discovered that children were indeed being fed and were getting enough food to eat but were being fed on essentially junk fast food with very little nutritional value.
Childhood Obesity Facts – A Global Epidemic
Here of course lies the real danger for a truly global child obesity epidemic if we are not careful, because food in many third world countries is heavily ‘disguised’ with spices and seasoning and consists of fatty, high cholesterol meats. In other words a general rise in living standards, or assistance from food aid programs, often results in an increase in low nutritional food volume which lays down fat rather than building muscle.
Although child obesity is a major problem today this could well be simply the tip of the iceberg and the situation may well get much worse before it gets better. In particular, childhood obesity facts show that the situation is certainly likely to worsen unless we recognize the link between fast food and obesity in our children and do something about it.