What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 49

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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: Wes Cole

In the big dilemma of childhood obesity, everything from inactivity to fast food to added hormones has had the big finger pointed at them over the years. While they all likely play a roll, I believe the main culprit is what’s quenching our children’s thirst. The average American consumes over one hundred and sixty five pounds of sugar a year according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. Children often consume more. With this amount of added sugars finding their way into our children’s diets, worrying about anything else would be equivalent to obsessing over the paint job on your car when your transmission is shot. Imagine feeding your child thirty-one, 5-pound bags of sugar every year! And how is it even possible? Sugar laden sodas, juices and energy drinks are destroying our children’s health mostly because of how easy it is to consume a massive amount of sugar in drink form.

The calories are staggering. The average can of soda has nine teaspoons of sugar, but no kid is drinking one can or bottle anymore like they did in the seventies. They’re literally drinking gigantic, fifty-two ounce drums of soda and taking down sports drinks, energy drinks, fancy coffees and juices that often have more sugar than soda. Fresh water, unsweetened tea and low fat milk should be the staple beverages in schools like it used to be. If we develop in our children a habit for making healthier drink choices early, that habit will protect them the rest of their lives.

Wes Cole