For parents experiencing raising a child for the first time, it of course is a nerve wracking roller coaster. One of the toughest things for parents to know and realize is when their child is getting a little to big for their age. Some may think that a parent can look at them and realize it, but there a few things in the way of common sense. For instance, if a child is at the dinner table with that look on their face or saying that they want more, which parent is honestly going to deny their child more food? Secondly, there is the whole concept that a parent loves their child to the point of being blinded by it. If a child were to be gaining weight and someone were to point it out, one of two things will likely happen. The parent may get defensive about it and accuse the person saying it to take a hike because they know how to raise their own child, or they will say something along the lines of ” Oh he is just a growing boy”. That is why it is so hard to stop obesity. It turns out, because of situations like this, obesity, especially in the United States is still on the rise. Unfortunately, one third of children in the U.S grows up being overweight or obese.
I personally feel really bad for these kids growing up. From their perspective, when they are running around on the play ground at school or with their friends at home and they can not quite keep up with them, all they can think is that they are faster than they are naturally, and that it has nothing to do with themselves. It also really boils my blood on the inside when a parent does not have the time to spend with their child, so what do they do instead? They buy them some sort of device to entertain themselves, such as a video game console or maybe an Ipod touch. These entertaining devices are hard to operate while being active, so they only further encourage kids to sit on their butts while eating chips or whatever the snack is, and they only add to the problem. I understand that some parents are less fortunate than others when it comes to time and money, and putting something like keeping their child active on the back burner may seem like a small price to pay, but at the end of the day it is an enormous price, and parents need to see that their children being active is a vital part of their health. Some kids grow out of these kinds of habits as they join sports teams at school, become passionate about them and putting their all into them, however, a lot of kids do not. The kids that bring their childhood habits into their teenage and young adult lives often go through a vicious cycle that ends up leading them to obesity. First off, on the playground, they may be chosen last during a game organized during their play time, and that may not seem like a big deal, but allow me to continue. First it begins there, then the other kids start teasing them about being fat, then when and if they muster up the courage to try out for a sports team, they do not make it because their athletic ability is not up to par. These things add up year after year and it more often than you would want to believe results in a depressed and obese teenager or young adult. What happens next? They start looking for comfort right? Although their family and friends may be able to help them by providing that unconditional love, there is one more element to the equation that you may be forgetting. Think about it, what inanimate object has been there beside them, never to judge them, and can appear at any time so long as they have the means to make it happen? That is right. Food. This is a lot of the times how people end up looking to food for comfort, more so over their own loved ones. To further this point, all these loved ones need to go to sleep at some point, and food does not. If the child is old enough, he or she can very well wake up and make whatever they want if it is in the house, and this is how late night snacking and food addiction begins. The thing is, even though the unconditional love is there, sooner or later, these loved ones will have to insist that the obese or overweight person makes a change in their life to get them back on the track of being healthy. After all the years of being picked on, that same obese child may look past the whole idea of being healthier and solely think of it as their loved ones trying to change the way they are, and food does not do that because it can not talk.
I may have taken this to a bit of an extreme, but I truly believe that these kinds of processes are how obesity becomes an uncontrollable and out of hand epidemic and a killer.