What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 21

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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: Melanie Lundheim

Back in the 1970s, my sister and I used to play outdoors with fellow neighbor kids until Dad whistled for us or the streetlights turned on. These days, our streets are less safe. Children must now remain under the watchful eyes of parents near home, or coaches in organized sports. These challenges lead to more sedentary lifestyles among children.

Furthermore, when children do exercise in organized sports, team parents routinely serve snacks and sugary beverages afterward, canceling out the calories burned. This soccer season, I asked my kids’ team parents to consider not serving post-game snacks. In addition to being a healthier option, skipping post-game snacks is easier for children like mine who have peanut and tree nut allergies. Fortunately, all of the team parents happily agreed to a no-snack soccer season.

Melanie Lundheim, corporate freelance writer and founder of Good Copy Fast and Nut Safe Schools


  1. I think you bring up some great points, but on a larger scale I think there are other factors to consider. 1) dieting and tryi9ng to get kids to weigh less means they are more likely to overeat and weigh more 2) poverty and food insecurity are huge factors 3) loss of structure and family meals (more grazing) 4) more meals eaten outside the home and loss of cooking skills 5) not enough sleep and too much stress… I’m a family doctor and a childhood feeding specialist working with families who struggle with weight worries.

  2. Thank you, Katja, for following up on my request for your contribution to this article. You are a childhood feeding expert, as well as a doctor, and the first person I look to regarding anything related to feeding my children. Much appreciated!

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