The Problems

What Causes Childhood Obesity


Obesity occurs when a child eats more calories than the body burns up.  If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that the children will also be obese.  However, when both parents are obese, the children have an 80 percent chance of being obese.  Although certain medical disorders can cause obesity, less than 1 percent of all obesity is caused by genetic problems.  Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be related to:
• poor eating habits
• overeating or binging
• lack of exercise (i.e., couch potato kids)
• family history of obesity
• medical illnesses (endocrine, neurological problems)
• medications (steroids, some psychiatric medications)
• stressful life events or changes (separations, divorce, moves, deaths, abuse)
• family and peer problems
• low self-esteem
• depression or other emotional problems