Thursday, March 1, 2012

Obesity in Early Childhood by Zara Foley

As I grow older and wiser, I realize I might be passing on bad eating habits to my daughters.  I can remember being a lazy ten year old and asking for seconds at lunch so I didn't have to do so many dishes.  Although my mom was the perfect role model of how a person's diet should be, my brother and I sometimes felt deprived.  We only ate "junk food" once a week, a glazed doughnut every Sunday at church.  Soda was never allowed in our house and the only time we got candy was Halloween. 

When children begin early childhood, they may begin to be pickier eaters than before they entered preschool.  Their bodies begin to grow at a slower rate and their appetites may not be as big as they were before.  Some parents worry that their child isn't eating enough, but they will compensate at a later meal.  Parents should make sure they are eating a balanced diet, like the food their parents eat.  It is our responsibility to introduce healthy foods and eating habits to our kids when they are young, so they will be more tolerant to new foods and acquire the taste for things that are good for them.  A child that eats a lot of sweets and drink sugary drinks are more likely to not like milk, as opposed to those who drink milk and eat healthy from the beginning of life.

Another mistake is bribing your child with food.  If you force them to finish their dinner, then they will get their dessert, more than likely they will finish their dinner, even if they are full.  Childhood obesity is a huge problem in the U.S.  Prevention seems to make more sense to me than creating a problem that has to be addressed. If we teach our kids the value of healthy food and excersize maybe we can break the cycle of obesity in our country


  1. With obesity becoming so prevelant in the US, this post is very insightful. It's also worth mentioning the effects that surgary foods have on teeth. Tooth decay becomes very common in high surgar diets that can lead to long-term oral problems. Poor oral health can then lead to other health concerns because of mouth diseases such as gingivitis. Gingivitis can lead to tooth loss as well as heart attack, stroke, or even lung disease later in life. Great post! ~Kori Bower

  2. Bravo!!! Childhood obesity is a growing and serious problem in the United States, with juvenile diabetes growing by leaps and bounds. I myself am insulin dependent after my first child and I vowed I wanted better for my children, so I try to model good eating habits for them because I want them to be heathy.

  3. Good post, but with some people there is also a genetic part to obesity. We as human beings are also genetically predisposed to gravitating towards a food or something that is sweet (learned this in a former class of mine). In the womb, a fetus tends to swallow amniotic fluid more if it has a sweeter taste to it. I don't know how researchers came to find this out, but I learned the information from a very reliable source. Just thought I would add these couple of points.

    Katie Meehan

  4. I think the majority of children have some type of bad eating habits. I wish I had been more like your mom and kept the sweets and pop out of the house. I provided it for my kids. They are now 24 and 20 and both overweight. I did not make great decisions. I applaud your mom, even though you and your brother felt deprived. When my youngest daughter was 5, she would only eat salads and drink diet coke. My husband and I neither one ate meals like that. Nor did we ever tell the girls that they were too heavy. We were never sure where she picked up that eating habit. The pediatrician told us to not talk about it with her and see what happens. We heeded to his decision. This eating habit lasted about 6 months. She is still a big salad and diet coke person, but she all other types of food as well. I often think about the commercials that talk about kids are "what they eat." This is so true.
    Susan Davis