Research shows a direct link between poverty and obesity with a recent study connecting low income children expected to be obese when compared to those from high income families. Generally, for people (including children) to be considered obese the cause of it is simply mathematics.
Putting on weight includes the consumption of too many calories versus too little calories burnt. It’s sad to think that this applies to those innocents who we imagine would have the world at their feet, but maybe, for these children, obesity which is something they may battle with for the rest of their life, is the least of their troubles?
Children Fighting With Food
You can’t ignore food when examining children poverty and obesity. Children who grow up in lower income earning populations don’t have the access to healthy food and can’t restrict their calorie intake. Or, if they can, they don’t know how to, or they are unaware of what makes them obese – because of mere lack of education.
What’s worse is that food marketing is targeted at this population. Food companies market to higher income earners for more expensive products such as whole grains, lean meats, low fat products, fresh organic vegetables etc. Whereas these children are inundated with marketing for products which are made from refined grains and have added fats. What chance do they have?
Children Who Can’t Exercise
To fight the other side of the calorie equation it’s important to look at exercise, or lack of it when examining the behaviors of child obesity and poverty. It’s very difficult to imagine children who don’t have safe environments to run and play. But, recent studies have shown that there isn't any ‘safe’ space for these children to play.
So, what do they do? They have created a sedentary habit before they have even had a chance to love exercise. Their boundless energy can’t be worked off. They’re become disabled because they’re prisoners in their own homes.
What Can You Do If Your Child Is Obese?
Your child is obese and you recognize that studies have proven that children from low income homes are more likely to be obese, then first step to facing this unfair child poverty and obesity issue to ensure you get your hands on proper nutritional education. Make sure your child is educated with the fundamentals like healthy eating and regular exercise.
At a National level, there are new initiatives set up. Menus are now mandated to include appropriate labeling in fast food restaurants and vending machines. Schools are now being enforced to set nutrition standards in schools where there are school canteens. Also, there are countless campaigns being rolled out in America to get people and the youth moving and active. Or maybe it is time to take action to change this poverty reality and look into opportunities or venues to generate income to help and improve your lifestyle and eating habits.
However, if your child is obese, the most important person who can make an impact on child poverty and obesity is you. Providing your child with constant support to lose weight combined with a calorie controlled diet and exercise program – will work.