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.
Hello, I run a foundation for overweight kids, ages 8-14 who are in 85th percentile and above. This morning alone, in my freelance work, I heard a Detecitve for Internet Crimes involving children say, over and over. “Parents YOU are responsible for your children.”
The same goes for obesity. Parents are responsible for the education or proper nutrition, the grocery shopping, ensuring breakfast is eaten, lunch is as healthy as possible, and that dinner is well-balanced. Kids cannot do this on their own. We can teach them how to make better nutritional decisions and educate them on proper fitness and nutrition habits, but ultimately the parents are responsible for the kids.
That being said, I still challenge my staff to take the next steps. We have tons of parents who do not see the importance of proper nutrition or have the education to understand. Therefore, we need to teach the children how to make those decisions on their own. Very hard to do!
Lastly, in a parent group just yesterday, we had a divorced mom, who’s ex husband is a health nut but for some reason feeds his daughter terrible foods when she is there – brownies, cookies, pizza. She has enrolled her daughter in our 8 week program and would like his assistance in helping, not hindering. As the moms in the group heard this astonishing news, their advice “pack the food for her and send it with her. That way, she at least has options.” The parents in the group were adamant and concerned. “She is your daughter. You need to protect her and help her make the right decisions.” It was great work and thinking as a group!
Nicki Klinkhamer, Executive Director, ProActive Kids Foundation