The problem of childhood obesity affects all areas of life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last year, my granddaughter, Amanda Watson, chose obesity as the subject for a school project. The title of her report was Self-Esteem Effects on Obese Children. I have her permission to use some findings of her research.

It’s reported that obesity has doubled since the 1970’s and children are becoming more depressed because of their weight. Today, 30 percent of school-aged children are overweight. 

There are many different causes for obesity.  Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, overeating and genetics are some of the things that contribute to obesity.  Surveys show that if one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that the children will also be overweight. If both parents are obese, their children have an 80 percent chance of being overweight. 

One startling finding was that obese children rated their life quality the same as child cancer patients on chemotherapy. What a devastating burden a child has to carry caused by a problem that could be controlled! 

Obese children, whose self-esteem has decreased over a period of time, reported higher levels of sadness, loneliness, and nervousness.  Obese children don’t always eat more food; they eat food low in nutrition and high in fat and calories.  Overweight children are more likely to develop many health issues, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Also, type 2 diabetes, which was once considered an adult disease, has dramatically increased in children and adolescents. 

The bottom line is that the obese person’s life expectancy is a few years shorter than the average-weight person. It should also be noted that girls with a low self-image are affected much more than boys with the same problem.

One of the main reasons for the alarming rise in childhood obesity can be blamed on technology, because children prefer to stay indoors and play on the computer and watch television, rather than going outside and exercising.

The solution to the problem is for a person to admit that they have a problem and then make a decision to change their lifestyle.    

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: