Child Obesity: FAQs and Greatest Hits

children on park merry-go-round

This site is dedicated to exploring the physical, social, emotional, and political issues surrounding childhood obesity.

We invite you to explore some of our most popular — and controversial — posts and series. Here are a few examples:

Why is childhood obesity such a problem right now?

From food engineering to global marketing to the explosion of the video game industry, the world changed in several different ways over the past few decades. Dr. Pretlow calls this the “perfect storm” that led to the childhood obesity epidemic.

Why is fast food such a problem?

Fast food is inexpensive, easy to find everywhere, and tastes good once you get used to it. Dr. Pretlow and many other people believe that fast food is purposely designed to “hook” people into being addicted to it.

Why do many obese children suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer?

Those are a lot of questions! Here is an article about the beginnings of diabetes.

Can a child die from being overweight? 

Yes. When a person is so heavy that it’s life-threatening, that’s called morbid obesity.

What kinds of food make children fat?

Junk food is obviously bad, but a greater, largely unappreciated force is sugar.

Why don’t children just go outside and play more?

One reason is, the computer or TV gives an immediate reward, something to feel  good about right away. With exercise, the playing itself feels good, but the real rewards — such as a long, healthy life — don’t show up right away. Also, unfortunately, some children don’t live in places where it’s safe to play outside, and few school districts allow or encourage walking or biking to school.


Image by Ryan Schroeder

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Childhood Obesity News | OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say | Dr. Robert A. Pretlow
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