Are Parents Responsible for Childhood Obesity?
Childhood obesity has been on the rise in the last four decades compared to earlier diagnosed cases. It is an aspect that has been largely related to lifestyle. However, according to (Bergmeier et al. (2020) the modern-day parents have a direct role to play in the rising cases of obesity. Obesity is outlined by the researcher as an excessive fat accumulation in the body that pose health risks to the recipient. There has been reported cases of children as young as eight years weighing over sixty pounds, quite a health risk scenario. The fact that some parents allow their children to access foods with as well as those rich in caffein, continue to pose serious obesity risks to growing children. In this sense, the control and prevention of obesity in children significantly relies on the care and guidance that parents put in place.
This essay explores whether parents have a responsibility in propagating risks of obesity on children as they grow up.
Parental Role in Propagating Childhood Obesity
Parents have a direct responsibility of taking care of their children, and this entails making health choices in terms of what they eat, and their physical activities. The lifestyle that children adopt largely dictate whether they may end up being exposed to risks of being obese. The have seen parents become very busy as they try to balance between family needs, work obligations, and looking after their childrens welfare. In this essence, most parents today are subconscious of what their children are eating. The lifestyle where fast foods become the order of the day since parents are busy has contributed to that risk obesity on children (Vittrup, B., & McClure, D. (2018).
In addition, the aspect of lack of physical activities on children has become a prime factor that leads to childhood obesity. Parents fail to create an environment where children can participate in physical activities that can . Instead, children are usually glued on the television while others playing video games for over twelve hours a day. This behavior is encouraged by parents as a way of keeping the children busy so that they do not disturb the parents (Bergmeier et al., 2020). According to Neshteruk et al. (2021), parents play a direct role in propagating obesity risks on children via genetic aspect of children inheriting overweight characteristics. When such children are in place, it is upon parents to control their body weight by setting up healthy eating and physical exercise lifestyles.
In conclusion, parents have a great influence on childhood obesity. The aspects of lifestyle, genetic factors, and parenting styles influence the availability of obesity risks. The environment created for children in terms of what they eat, the type of physical activities they take, the stress they undergo, or even the inheritance of whether childhood obesity thrives. Parents have a direct role in controlling child behavior as a preventive approach in curbing obesity in children.
Bergmeier, H., Paxton, S. J., Milgrom, J., Anderson, S. E., Baur, L., Hill, B., … & Skouteris, H. (2020). Early mother-child dyadic pathways to childhood obesity risk: A conceptual model.Appetite,144, 104459.
Neshteruk, C. D., Zizzi, A., Suarez, L., Erickson, E., Kraus, W. E., Li, J. S., … & Armstrong, S. C. (2021). Weight-related behaviors of children with obesity during the COVID-19 pandemic.Childhood Obesity,17(6), 371-378.
Vittrup, B., & McClure, D. (2018). Barriers to Childhood Obesity Prevention: Parental Knowledge and Attitudes.Pediatric Nursing,44(2).