Parental Influence on Childhood Obesity Abby Wissinger

Obesity is a term used to describe an individual who has a body mass index of 25 of higher (weight/ meters squared). Those who are obese suffer from more issues that just being overweight.

Genetics Role in Obesity

  • Vertical gene transfer allows mothers to pass on predisposed obesity traits to offspring in the womb
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms and poor allele combinations alter the expression of chemicals from the hypothalmus
  • Faulty ADRB receptors of the nervous system cause metabolic decline
  • Environmental factors trigger poor regulation of the Gln27Glu allele
Emotional distress of children should be monitored by their parents in order to prevent excess weight gain in their children.

Psychological Distress

Research claims parents are able to identify depression in their children much faster than the child themselves. Once the psychological state of a child has been compromised, they tend to resort to isolation and food for comfort. This leads to excess weight gain. Parents have the responsibility to monitor their children's happiness in order to prevent these unhealthy habits from arising.

The Rise in the Fast Food Industry

Consumers have increased their reliance on fast food as the economy has shifted to a more capitalist environment. Parents busy schedules have allowed these fast food chains to increase in popularity. The frequent eating of these meals is not only unhealthy, but teaching children that it is okay to eat these foods all the time.

The average person consumes over half their daily recommended intake of calories in one McDonald's meal, rather than spreading their caloric intake out in order to keep their metabolism regular.

Increasing Popularity of Television and Video Gaming

Television and Video Gaming have replaced the physical activity in youth.
  • According to the Trust for America's Health 2007 Annual Report, 45% of kids aged 12-17 spend more that two hours a day staring at the TV screen
  • The same report claimed that there is correlation between the most hours spent watching TV and most overweight children population per state.
  • Video Gaming claims to be introducing active options, yet children are just finding a sedimentary way to succeed in the game the same way.

Concluding Arguments

  • Genetic Predisposition to Obesity can be overcome by regulation environmental factors children are subject to
  • Parents should be aware of the psychological state of their children in order to prevent excess energy consumption and lack of energy expenditure
  • Parents need to stray away from the enticement of the fast food energy and ease of television to support their children

Parents shape the future of our children, with their healthy input, the Obesity epidemic could be put to end.


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