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Biggest Causes of Obesity in Children

The fact that a good chunk of Americans have a weight problem isn’t new or shocking information. According to updated reports from the Center for Disease Control, 38% of American adults are now obese. What’s worrisome, but perhaps not unexpected, is that kids are following in their parent’s footsteps. The CDC reported that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

The cause of childhood obesity can often be traced to various habits and lifestyle choices. These are six of the biggest and most common factors of obesity in children.

1. Diet

Kid being a picky eater

Kid being a picky eater Sugary snacks are not the best reward for good behavior. | iStock.com

Just as with adults, the major cause of obesity in children is poor diet. With unhealthy lunch options and access to fast food and vending machines, children are literally eating their way to obesity. Research shows that American kids are snacking continually throughout the day, with snacks accounting for up to 27% of their daily calorie intake. As you might have guessed, these snacks aren’t apples and carrot sticks. Kids are sipping on soda and munching on candy, chips, and baked goods. Between 1977 and 2006, kids went from eating an average of 168 calories to 586 calories a day from snacks alone.

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