If you think about where we came from in America, I think you will see that there is a reason for the problem of childhood obesity rising. Let me point out a few things as to why.
First of all, back in the day… before World War II, children worked from the time they walked. Families thought the more children the better because that is the way the farms ran, business ran, and America ran! I’m not voting as whether or not this was “right” or “wrong,” I’m just saying it is the way things were!
Then came the war. Women went to the workplace and men to war. Older children were left to mind the younger ones. Still working. And games and toys and playtime all took place outside! Radio was the hottest thing out there, and the family would gather ’round it every evening for some quality family time.
Automobiles were introduced, and walking places was no longer the norm.
Then the depression hit. Whoever could work… did. Whatever food was available was eaten. Playtime was still outdoors.
Then came TV! Well, with it came time sitting in front of it! Some of this was quality time and some not so much. But as the number of shows increased, so did the sitting time in front of it.
Then came women’s liberation. With that came a lot less cooking time in the kitchen. Enter convenient, pre-packaged foods! Still, there was playtime outside. But have a child do anything other than play and watch TV was unheard of at this point. Suddenly, children became more of a burden than a blessing.
Then with the baby boomer generation came the latch-key generation, and shortly after it was no longer safe to allow children outside unsupervised! More and more processed foods became available, and more and more illnesses along with them. Diabetes, ADD, ADHD, Cancers, Heart disease and more.
And then there came Pong! The first video game was introduced! And we all know where that led to!
I don’t know if my timeline is right, but hopefully, you get the picture. We went from active kids who had very healthy eating habits to inactive kids with processed foods. What were we thinking would be the results of this?
So is childhood obesity an epidemic? I would say yes, and we’d better do something about it quick!
- Pediatricians confront the childhood obesity epidemic (medicalxpress.com)
- Childhood obesity: The only way to end it is to keep attacking the problem on all possible fronts. (slate.com)
- Childhood obesity rates in the United States and around the world (GRAPHS). (slate.com)
- Combating Environmental factors contributing to Childhood Obesity (environmentalhealthtoday.wordpress.com)
- Parents, schools unintentionally contribute to childhood obesity (news.bioscholar.com)