The purpose of this study
is to test the hypothesis that “Parents are the cause of childhood obesity.
This study will look into the various causes of Obesity, Preventing measures
and to ascertain if parents are really the main cause.

This has been achieved by collating different
secondary data in form of reports, articles, journal, and primary study
information gathered in form of a quantitative and objective questionnaires.
The questionnaire was given to people of different ages and background, especially
parents and other people. The view and opinion of everyone above 18years is
important as child obesity is a global issue and several factors contributes to
this global issue.

According to the information gathered during the research,
it is evident that childhood obesity is not caused by parents only but other
factors contribute to it. This factors includes:


Psychological factors.

Socioeconomic factors such as low income

Medical condition.

Environmental factors.

Government and social policies.


The primary findings showed that:

Parents indulge their children in sugary
and fizzy drinks.

Parents gives medium and large portion of
food to their children.

Parents allow their children to take part
in physical activities.

Parents are concerned about their
children’s weight.

Parents agreed that childhood obesity is
global issue of concern.


In conclusion, there are various other factors that
causes obesity other than parents.  


in the
developed countries. Childhood obesity is a medical condition that affects
children and teenagers due to abnormal fat accumulation in the body that may
affect their health. A sign of childhood obesity is a weight well above the
average for a child’s height and age. 1n 2015, Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of
states, described childhood obesity as ‘a national emergency’.


mass index (BMI) is a measure used to determine childhood overweight and
obesity. ` Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for
children and teens of the same age and sex. BMI is calculated by dividing a
person’s weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.


In this
research, the cause of the rise in the level of childhood obesity will be
discussed and the different actions that can be applied to diminish it.








Childhood obesity has been recognized as an increasing health problem.
Especially in the 21st Century, It is a predictor of eventual adult
obesity and strongly linked to chronic lifestyle disease. The number of
children who continue to have unhealthy and potentially dangerous weight is a
national public health concern. The problem is global and is gradually
affecting and spreading among the developed and developing countries as it was
more prevalence in developed countries (WHO, 2017).

Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat
accumulation a person put on in relation to the weight measure against the
height. The Body Mass Index (BMI) for children is calculated converting the BMI
into a BMI centile that indicates whether a child’s BMI is within the healthy
range or not. The age, sex, weight and height need to be measured accurately
(Children normally has BMI between 25th and 75th
centiles. A  BMI above the 91st
centiles is overweight and BMI above 98th centile is obese (WHO,

A major concern and question raised is why the level of
childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate? This research focuses on
parents as the cause for childhood obesity. There are several other factors
that highlight different causes of childhood obesity such as genetics,
environmental, medical, and psychological and socio economic conditions which
will also be discussed.

According to (Sugunendran, 2012) improper diet is a huge
contributor to child obesity. The formula for dealing with child obesity is
that the number of calories consumed daily must decrease and the level of
physical activity done daily must increase. Parents often give their children
fast and fatty food, high caloric snacks, juice and soda drinks and even worse
is that this meals are consumed while watching television, playing video
game  or on the computer.

The high calorie intake consumed by youngsters has increase from 168
calories per day to 586 per day compared to two decade ago when youngsters
consumed an extra 181 per day.(Parenting, 2016).

According to a nutritional report, children are at risk of obesity than ever
before because of the excessive large portion given to them. The infant and
toddler forum survey of 1000 British parents revealed that 79 per cent
routinely give their children large portions (Independent, 2017). Children are
overweight or obese because their parents are feeding them with large excessive
portions of food. (NHS, 2017)


Furthermore, the excessive portion of meals could also be attributed to
poor breastfeeding at the onset of child’s life. ( Michiyo Yamakawa, 2017)
argued that breastfeeding is associated with decreased risk of obesity. Studies
showed breastfeeding children for the first six month is associated with slower
weight gain as a result of healthier eating pattern compared with children fed
with infant formula which increases the production of fat cells, fueling weight
gain throughout childhood. The UK has one the lowest breastfeeding rates in
Europe with almost one in four new mothers never attempting breastfeeding.
Therefore, 75 percent of babies in Britain drink formula as to breastfeeding.
(The mail)

The 2007 UK government Foresight report ‘Tackling obesities:Future Choices-
Project report’ remains the most comprehensive investigation into obesity and
its causes. One important action in this report is to modify the environment so
that it does not promote sedentary behavior or provide easy access to
energy-dense food. The aim is to help make the healthy choice the easy choice
via environmental change and action. For instance, if lot of sweets and
high-fat foods are kept around your house, then children are likely to eat them
and gain weight. The same is true in the workplace: If the break room has
vending machines filled with candy, chips and soda, people may be tempted to
consume these diet-busting treats. The problem is particularly serious in
low-income neighborhoods, where it can be difficult to find grocers who offer
healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains. (Public Health, 2013).

Another factor to consider is the children’s sleeping pattern, if the sleeping
pattern of a child is bad, this may well lead to obesity. When parent do not devise
a routine, it affects the children. When youngsters do not have enough sleep it
alter their levels of appetite -regulating hormones which enables then to eat
more than they have to. Researcher found that children who does have a regular
pattern of sleep are likely to be obese. (NHS, 2016)

 Lack of physical activity is another
important factor related to obesity. Many people have jobs that involve sitting
at a desk for most of the day. They also rely on their cars, rather than
walking or cycling. For relaxation, busy lifestyle and also in an unsafe
neighborhood. Parents tend to keep their children indoors watch TV, browse the
internet or play computer games, and rarely take regular exercise.

Children tend to copy their parents inactive lifestyle by spending too much
of their time watching television. This is the main reason why most children
are obese because they are not active as they eat excessive large portion
without doing and exercise and thereby adding weight gradually. But being
active and staying active is key to children’s current and future
join a gym or otherwise encourage physical activity.
Because safety is a big issue in poorer communities, playing outdoors may not
be a viable option. (Manson, 2008).

Psychological factors that cause’s childhood obesity. Some children may
turn to food as a coping mechanism for dealing with problems or negative
emotions like stress, anxiety, or boredom. 
Children struggling to cope with a divorce or death in the family may
eat more as a result.

Childhood obesity is also caused by genetics. Children born into a family
of overweight people will be genetically predisposed to the condition,
especially if high-calorie food is readily available and physical activity is
not encouraged. There is a high tendency of childhood obesity due to
socioeconomic factors.  Children from
low-income backgrounds are at increased risk for childhood obesity since
low-income parents may lack the time and resources necessary to purchase and
prepare healthy foods. They result into fast food, which is cheaper and more
readily available in low-income communities (Education, 2006).

Medical conditions although not common causes children obesity. There are
certain genetic diseases and hormonal disorders that can predispose a child to
obesity, such as hypothyroidism, this is when the thyroid gland, is underactive
and does not release enough of the hormones that control metabolism.
Prader-Willi syndrome is another genetic disorder affecting the part of the
brain that controls feelings of hunger. Children with this syndrome have an
excessive appetite and eat lot.  And
Cushing’s syndrome is a disorder in which your body is exposed too much of the
hormone cortisol from overproduction in the adrenal glands or use of
medications such as those for asthma.(Parenting, 2016)

What are the
consequences of obesity in children? They are more likely to stay obese into
adulthood. They are the risk of developing diabetes(type 2), asthma,  cancer, and cardiovascular diseases at a
younger age.

In conclusion, many obesity problems could be avoided. If parent are
educated of the need to enforce a healthier lifestyle at home, what children
learn at home about eating healthy, exercising and building the right
nutritional choices will eventually spill over into other aspects of their
life. This will have the major impact on the choices kids make when selecting
foods to eat at school and fast-food restaurants and decide on being active.  Government
and social rules could also possibly promote healthy behavior. Study indicates
taste, followed by hunger and price, are the most vital factors in adolescents
snack choices. Other studies prove that adolescents associate junk food with
pleasure, individuality, and convenience, while fondness healthy food is
considered odd. This recommends investment is required in changing meanings of
food, and social views on eating behavior. As proposed by the National
Taskforce on Obesity (2005), fiscal policies such as taxing unhealthy options,
providing incentives for the distribution of inexpensive healthy food, and financing
convenient recreational services or the esthetic quality of neighborhoods can
enhance healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore it would be prejudicial
to lay the blame of obesity in children solely on parents while there are so
many other factors already highlighted.


There are others factors that were mentioned in this review, nevertheless,
this review has justify the notion that parent are not the sole cause of
childhood obesity.


This study
will analyse the hypothesis and find the proof which support and critique it.


are the cause of childhood obesity

are other reasons that cause childhood obesity


The complete
facts that will be collected will enable us to determine if parents are truly
the reason of childhood obesity or if there are other factors that are
responsible for childhood obesity.


The research methods used in this research project to gather
information were primary and secondary research.

The primary
research was conducted by means of a questionnaire. 16 questions consist  of closed questions to help create a
quantitative data of the interviewees, which are put into different sets
according to their responses and close ended questions which will produce
qualitative information of how parents and the people in the society’s opinion
on  the issue of childhood obesity.

The data for
the secondary research was gathered from books, journals, and websites related
to the topic of research.

gathering the information used in this research, ethical issue was put into
consideration. Interviewees were informed that their participation in the
surgery is voluntary as they are free to pull out without any need to give
reasons. It also shows that their response is private and that their names will
not appear in any articles or reports and will only be used for research
purpose only. There was also a consent form prepared for this purpose.


Obesity can be measured by a person’s excess weight in
relation to what the

 Ideal weight
should be when measured against the individual’s height.

Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat
accumulation a person put on in relative to what the weight measure against the
height. The Body Mass Index (BMI) for children is calculated converting the BMI
into a BMI centile that indicates whether a child’s BMI is within the healthy
range or not. The age, sex, weight and height need to be measured accurately
(Children normally has BMI between 25th and 75th
centiles. A  BMI above the 91st
centiles is overweight and BMI above 98th centile is obese (WHO,

 The research
focuses on parents as the cause for childhood obesity . Emphasis is laid on why
the level of childhood obesity is rising in the society. Who is to blame?  parents? or are there others factors that is
out of control of the parents.  Although
several other causes have emerged in recent time to proof that there other

Factors influencing obesity in children are not limited
to lack of healthy diet, poor breastfeeding or the meal portions. Several other
factors such government policies, environmental and psychology factors also
plays a major role.

Research revealed that most youngsters are overweight due
to consumption of high calorie foods such as sugary beverages, unhealthy snacks
and fizzy drinks. According to a pediatrician, childhood obesity is a result of
parent giving their children average or adult size portions of food. A study
has shown that when average portion of food were given to children over two
years, they tend to eat more (NHS, 2016). This support the primary and
secondary research in this review.

The primary research also indicated that consumption of
sugary beverage accompanied with Convenience foods, such as frozen dinners, salty snacks, and canned pastas,
can also lead to unhealthy weight gain. Some children become obese their
parents work schedule, they don’t know how to choose or prepare healthy foods
or they could not easily afford fresh fruits and good meals.(Parenting, 2016)

of consistent physical activity can be another cause of childhood obesity.
People of all ages tend to increase weight when they’re inactive. Exercise
burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Children who aren’t
encouraged to be active may be less possible to burn extra calories through
sports, time on the playground, or other forms of physical activity. Changing
the eating habits of obese children is completely essential. Parental influence
shapes your child’s eating patterns. Most kids eat what their parents buy, so
healthy eating needs to start with parents. (Mansion, 2008).

issues attribute to obesity in some children. Kids and teens who are bored,
stressed, or depressed may result in eat more to cope with negative
emotions.(Public health 2013).

Altering the eating habits of obese
children is absolutely essential. Parental influence shapes your child’s eating
patterns. Most kids eat what their parents buy, so healthy eating needs to
start with the parents. (Parenting, 2016)

factor is very important. Living in an unsafe environment and thus cannot play outdoor
due to the dangers involved from leaving children unaccompanied. Also parents desired
to drive their children to school rather than allow then to walk according to
primary research due to unsafe environment. In the past, youngsters walked or
rode their bikes to school, this has changed due to the unsafe environmental.
Increase your child’s level of physical activity to help them shed weight
safely. Walking to school would have been a daily exercise routine for the
children. (Bhadoria et al, 2015)

Limit screen time too. Kids
who spend several hours a day watching television, playing computer games, or
using their smartphones or other devices are more likely to be overweight.
According to studies reported by Harvard school of Public health, the reason for this may
be twofold. First, screen time eats into time that could be spent doing
physical activities instead. And second, more time in front of the TV means
more time for snacking,(Healthline, 2005)

If the sleeping  pattern of a child is poor, the result could
lead to obesity. When children lack enough sleep, its changes their levels of
appetites-regulating hormones, this makes then to eat more than they should
have eaten. Researchers have found out that children as young as two years old
that does not have a consistent sleep pattern will likely to be obese by the
age of seven. (NHS, 2016)

Medical condition such as Prader-Willi
Syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that is present from birth. Children
suffering with this syndrome can eat everything and anything. They have an
unusual appetite and do whatever it takes to get food without minding the
effect of excess food. (Parenting 2016).

Furthermore, psychological factors caused
childhood obesity some do not know how to react to negative situation, stress
and anxiety

In this research, we have discussed about
other factors such as a genetics psychological factors, government policies,
socioeconomic factors and environmental factors also contribute to childhood

The primary and secondary data support the
facts that parents are not the sole cause of childhood obesity. .






the secondary research information was not difficult but could be cumbersome.
Sieving through information from books, journals and website and extracting
needed information. The primary research was not easy to gather as some
participants were not willing to fill the questionnaire which slow down the
research. It would have been quicker to do interview in the future.

Some of the
participants do not have children of their own. So their opinion that parents
are the cause for childhood obesity may not be suitable.    Questions about their weight and how to
control weight will have been suitable.

Lastly, there were some general questions in the
questionnaires. This will only gather qualitative data which is not as suitable
as quantitative data.        


Parents need to be
educated about giving their children proper and healthy diet. This will enable parents
to overhaul the entire family nutrition diet by limiting sweets and soft drinks
intake.encourage more home made food and cut back on your fast food consumption
and make a conscious effort to cook more. Preparing a meal and eating together
is not only healthy in a nutritional sense, but it’s also an excellent way to
sneak in some family time.

The government should provide more fund to school to
enable proper meal for school children. There should also be policy to restrict
sugary food and sweet in their lunch boxes. The government to create awareness
to  help parents and children going
through psychological or emotion issues.

 Children should be
encourage to engage in activity such as: swimming, football or any activity
that take away boredom and reduce weight gain. Saturdays might be suitable for
most parent due to the hectic work schedule.

Parent also should
encourage their children to walk to school. This will serve as a from of daily
exercise.A  daily routine strictly adhere
to be the family which should include including the sleeping pattern. Children
should have regular sleeping time.

Government to create incentives to
encourage nursing moothers to stay home and breastfeed their children  for the first six month.



In conclusion, childhood obesity is a global issue that
requires a global attention from the government, parents and the society at



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