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This essay will discuss the role of parents in the context of childhood obesity. It will explore how factors such as dietary habits, lifestyle choices, and parenting styles contribute to the prevalence of obesity among children. The piece will consider the balance of responsibility between parents, society, and systemic factors like food marketing and availability. It will also discuss strategies for prevention and intervention. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Adolescence.
In current years, children becoming more obese in their entire childhood development has become common. Obesity in children could be due to various reasons such as family structure, busy family life experienced in the modern days, and insufficient knowledge of foods containing high calories. Parents ought to be accountable for what they do or fail to do that amounts to a negative influence on their children’s weight and cause them to be overweight or obese during their childhood period.
When it comes to knowing who is responsible for childhood obesity, there are various answers. A survey by ACNielsen indicates that one percent of parents accused manufacturers, seven percent blamed TV advertisements, nine percent accused the child, and ten percent blamed companies selling fast foods. According to verywellfamily.com, two-thirds of parents put the blame on themselves. After all, parents carelessly teach their children what to eat, with or without their presence. Imparting healthy eating behaviors in children at a young age is an obligation that every parent should assume with the needed seriousness. What children learn to eat at a young age is likely to remain with them and follow them as they grow in their choice of food and their perspective towards food.
How it works
Children establish trust in their caregivers from birth to fully believing that whatever a parent says or does, is the best and right choice for them. As such, parents are mandated to do everything necessary and appropriate to offer and sustain a healthy standard of living for their kids. Parents ought to remain dependable in pursuing the required and progressive deeds that will ensure that their children are healthy and well-sustained.
Fighting childhood obesity is challenging for busy and large families but is doable. I strongly identify with the National Institution of Health’s recommendations for leading a healthy lifestyle: having more nutritious options for snacks for children to choose from and drinking the suggested amount of water for height and weight, which is usually eight-ounce glasses per day. The suggested amounts of fluid per day are five glasses or one liter for 5-8 years old, seven glasses or 1.5 liters for 9-12 years old, eight to ten glasses or two liters for 13+ years old, remaining active for at least one hour per day and watching the size or amount of what you eat.
A poll by Gillian K. Steelfisher suggests that some parents believe limiting the amount of food their children should take is unethical. 44% of parents agree that having children eat healthily is complex; 11% of parents acknowledge that it is expensive to eat healthily; 79% of the parents are not accountable for whether their kids eat healthily or not; 16% of parents have no time to prepare healthy meals, 7% are unaware whether their children eat unhealthy food and 36% of parents say it is challenging to get their children to exercise. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that children should remain physically active for at least one hour a day. In addition to imparting poor eating habits to their kids, parents can also champion laziness in their kids. Not encouraging children to be physically active is a way parents are encouraging unhealthy habits in children. BBC News magazine (bbc.com) notes that watching the television was an everyday activity among children, and 75% of junior high school children prefer staying at home other than going to a local park. The parent’s responsibility is to teach a child how to be physically active by instilling some exercise habits at a young age.
Playing video games and watching excess television contribute more to childhood obesity, increasing the danger continually faced by kids. Minimizing screen time and motivating kids to engage in physical activities can save their lives. Being inactive and sitting for extended periods results in children being overweight. Parents should not blame their children’s overweight by watching the television or playing video games. In any case, the parents give access and allow their kids to play games and watch TV. The parents purchase all these assets and are to blame for their children’s overweight or obesity. According to Discovery News, interactive games can make children active by moving around, thus lessening their likelihood of being obese. The main concern is that children do not play interactive games.
Allowing children to watch too much television or play video games excessively is an indication of parents neglecting their kids. According to a 2007 British press, a seven-year-old weighed more than two hundred pounds and had difficulties walking to school. The authorities then threatened to take the child, raising concerns about whether obesity should be termed parental neglect or medical neglect. Child neglect is attributed to the failure of a caregiver to provide or seek the needed medical care. To establish whether obesity is a result of medical neglect, it is essential to assess the given criteria as suggested by these three things: a high chance that serious impending harm will take place, a reasonable probability that forced state intervention will amount in efficient treatment and the lack of substitute options for tackling the problem.
Even though it is hard for medical personnel or authorities to establish parental neglect and medical neglect, the debate is ongoing. According to David Rogers, a public health spokesman for the Local Government Association, parents who expose their children to too much food for consumption are guilty of neglect just as much as those who do not give food to their children. A sign that a parent is overfeeding their child is when they serve them equal amounts of food as parents. When you give your child an equivalent portion of food as yourself, you are already exposing your child to more significant health issues.
In the same study, a pediatrician observed that obesity is a public health issue, not a child protection problem. When taxpayers’ money begins to aid childhood obesity, it becomes a public issue rather than a personal family problem. Obesity or being overweight in kids is likely to cause healthcare issues that will necessitate the federal and state government to use the money on the healthcare system to aid. The center for disease control (CDC) outlines that there are direct and prospective health dangers concerning childhood obesity, and it can portray severe effects on the body. Overweight or obese children are at increased hazard of having high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which elevates the danger of contracting cardiovascular disease (CVD), breathing issues like asthma and sleep apnea, musculoskeletal discomfort, and joint problems, fatty liver disease, gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn, and gallstones.
The future risks include: obese children are at an increased risk of becoming obese adults. Adult obesity is linked with a high risk of numerous health issues such as heart disease, cancer, and type two diabetes. If kids are obese, their condition and disease danger are likely to be more intense in adulthood.
Many issues are linked with being obese or overweight and having a high BMI. An individual’s BMI (body mass index) or weight is essential in coining the obesity equation. BMI is an individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. A high body mass index may be a pointer to high body size.
Apart from the numerous health problems associated with children who are overweight or obese, parents should be aware of the social stigmas around obesity. Bullying and depression are among the leading social stigmas that obese children face. Mental health is essential in the current world dominated by social media. Social media makes it very easy to bully a child or criticize them according to their looks.
In 2006, Brandy Vela, an eighteen-year-old, took her life away in the presence of her family. Her decision was informed by the fact that she had received online bullying due to her overweight stature. Her sister Jackie’s report to CNN said that people would come up with fake accounts and message her, but she would not reply. As if that was not enough, they would still attack her again. They would say things like you are fat and ugly, and others would question why she is still here.
A patent is responsible for setting an illustration of acceptance regarding their children. Failure of parents to do so for their children results in adverse effects like online bullying, which can be dangerous. With the easy availability and advancement of social media, it is effortless for a child to face bullying online. An online polling site named Debate.org posed the question of whether parents needed to check what their kids did on social media. According to the responses, 40% of parents affirmed that it was necessary to do so, while 60% declined. This data is shocking, given that parents need to be aware of the dangers of the internet and create safety measures for their children.
The opposing arguments on the Debate.org site advocate that children ought to be trusted, that they deserve and require privacy, and that parents’ and teenagers’ associations should be founded on trust. Other views accept that the internet is harmful and children’s activities on the web should be closely monitored. One parent argues that parents should be observant of their children’s accounts on social media because it is difficult to know what a child faces on the internet. The internet creates an all different atmosphere where people are behind the screen and can start a series of bullying others, causing imminent danger, hence why parents should be concerned with what their child encounters on social media. Cyberbullies are all over the internet, and they prey on vulnerable feelings such as those of a child.
Children copy what they see other adults do, especially their parents. If kids observe their parents drink soda throughout the day, they are more likely to choose the same instead of a healthier drink like water. A study posted on LiveScience.com states that: teens of parents who consume soda daily are at an increased rate by forty percent of drinking soda daily individually compared to teens whose parents do not consume the drink. Teens from parents who take five servings of vegetables and fruits daily are 16% more likely to emulate them than teens whose parents do not consume five servings daily. Almost half of the teenagers (48%) whose parents take soda daily consume fast food at least once a day, while only 39% of teens from parents who do not take soda are likely to consume fast food once a day. Forty-five percent of adolescents whose parents do not consume five servings of vegetables and fruits daily feed on fast food once a day, while only thirty-nine percent of teenagers from parents who do five servings of vegetables and fruits eat fast food once a day.
Children are observant of what their parents do, and parents are obligated to model healthy behavior. Past studies indicate that parents who exercise and eat healthily are more likely to raise kids who emulate them. Parents are the determinants of their children’s lives in their role, and this responsibility should be taken with the weight it deserves.
As their kids’ initial teachers, parents should assume the crucial role of determining what their children consume and how their children exercise. They should also take entire accountability for what they do or fail to do concerning their children’s lives. Children establish trust in their caregivers from birth to fully believing that whatever a parent says or does is the best and right choice for them. Therefore, parents are mandated to act in every possible and appropriate way to offer and sustain a healthy way of life for their kids. Parents must remain dependable in pursuing the required and positive deeds that will ensure that their children are healthy and well-sustained.
A child’s formative years take place in their parent’s care of any other adult as a caregiver. Whatever a child experiences under the care of these adults greatly influences their overall lifestyle. Parents are responsible for establishing a firm foundation for their children’s lives at an early stage. For this reason, parents ought to be accountable for what they do or fail to do, which negatively influences their children’s weight and cause them to be overweight or obese during their childhood period.
So, who is responsible for children’s obesity or overweight? Altogether, parents or guardians of younger children are responsible for the outcomes of all these aspects of the child’s life. The parents take charge of where the food is eaten, what kind of food it is, and how much is eaten. Dietary habits and healthy eating all begin at home.
Parents should reflect and make the required alterations concerning their patterns of thought and behaviors regarding how their kids perform concerning diet, fluid intake, and physical exercise. Essential questions a parent should ask is whether they are offering healthy foods to their child, whether they are offering and motivating healthy choices, and whether they are a good role model for their children.
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