What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 11

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As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit
Opinion: Pat Barone

As a health/fitness professional, mother AND someone who had conquered excess weight permanently, I think one HUGE key to the childhood obesity issue is the use of food/snacking in our culture.

Diet mentality has provided food manufacturers with a convenient way to sell more – it’s called snacking. As the “six meals a day” theory proliferates through our society, we force it on our kids. Kids used to play outdoors after school and never seem to need a snack. They didn’t even want to come in for dinner. Now, they cannot attend a sports practice, school event or meeting without food. Most elementary schools give kids snacks in the morning and afternoon! After school programs offer even more snacks. Adding to the insult, most snacks are high carb and many are made with a lot of sugars and/or high fructose corn syrup. Clearly, a healthy school-age child is capable of surviving quite nicely (perhaps with more energy because they aren’t digesting all the time) on three meals a day.

The change I’d recommend? Teaching kids to eat ONLY when hunger actually is present.

My name is Pat Barone, MCC – I’m a professional certified coach, certified personal trainer and weight management consultant.