What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 48

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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: Ari Levy, MD

I think that a lack of accountability is at the heart of the childhood obesity epidemic. Parents need to take responsibility and help kids get active. Telling them to get off the couch isn’t enough—and you can’t assume the schools are handling our childrens’ health literacy. We used to be able to count more on our schools to make sure kids got time to run around and get active during the school day—unfortunately, that’s not the case these days. Budget cuts have impacted PE, and recent studies have found that kids simply aren’t moving enough. It’s on parents to fill that void and make physical activity a fun part of daily life. Parents need to make health and well-being a value and demonstrate that to their kids.

I think one thing that will make a long-term difference is education. Kids need to know how to eat well. They need to know how to set goals for their health. They need to want to get active. It comes down to having a champion dedicated to empowering kids with the knowledge and accountability to succeed.

– Ari Levy, MD, Co-CEO, Engaged Health Solutions