To many, obesity in the United States is considered an epidemic. The blame is often placed on the parents, unhealthy eating habits, even video games and television. But many of the ideas behind obesity in children and what is really causing it, is nothing but myth. There are so many different things that factor into childhood obesity to consider before jumping to conclusions or placing blame. These are the top 5 myths about obesity in children.
Obesity is the Parents Fault
One of the biggest myths behind childhood obesity is that the blame should be on the parents since they are in charge of meals and buying food. While this can play a part, as other myths, there is no way to determine this is the reason. Just because a child is obese, doesn’t mean they eat poorly and definitely doesn’t mean their parents are to blame. If anything, obesity is only the parents “fault” when it runs in the family as a genetic issue.
Obesity is Caused by Fast Food
In the United States, fast food is inexpensive and convenient for many families, but this also doesn’t mean it is the sole reason children are obese. Everyone has the freedom to avoid fast food and many parents of obese children don’t even let them eat this high-fat, salty junk food. Many fast food restaurants offer fresh fruit as sides and milk or juice instead of soft drinks.
School Lunches Are to Blame
Another popular myth in the blame game is to point fingers at the schools and their unhealthy lunches. Like fast food, it isn’t always the healthiest but this doesn’t mean all obese children are eating lunches offered by the schools. Many schools are also switching to a selection of healthier options which makes this one a myth for those areas at least.
Television, Internet and Video Games are to Blame
A significant worry in the eyes of parents and society in general, is what kind fo damage excessive video game playing, Internet usage and television is putting on kids. Consider the fact that many video games involve major body motion, such as with the Kinect and the Wii. These are helping kids enjoy themselves while getting an excellent amount of physical activity, sometimes for hours a day. Not only that, but kids spend more than half their day in school, plus homework, family time and eating dinner takes another few hours. That doesn’t leave much time during the week for indulging in these activities.
Childhood Obesity Can’t be Prevented
On the flip side, many people think obesity in children can’t be prevented. While this may be true for children that have medical conditions making them predisposed to obesity, many others can prevent it. It takes many factors to become obese as a children and an adult. Children need to have access to healthy lunches, eat healthy meals at home, avoid fast food or choose smarter options, and get regular physical activity.