Weight is an issue for many people, with more individuals now overweight or obese than a healthy weight. Some people permanently struggle with their weight, having developed a weight problem as a child and spending the whole of their adulthood battling it. Although weight may be the responsibility of the individual, the fact that weight is something so many people have to contend with suggests that wider societal shifts have influenced people’s lifestyles. Clearly, this influence has been a negative one, which is why obesity, and the health-related problems that accompany it, is so widespread.
Some people permanently struggle with their weight because they were born into an overweight or obese family and therefore may have inherited certain ‘fat’ genes. Not only does genetics play a role, though, since overweight parents have probably developed some bad habits which they inadvertently pass on to their children. If parents are snacking on junk food all day, rarely eat fruit and vegetables and often eat fast food at meal times they are likely to be feeding their children the same type of diet. This kind of diet is likely to be calorie-rich but nutritionally-poor, so that children will be getting more energy than they need, but not enough vitamins and minerals.
Children who are raised on junk food and convenience meals come to perceive this as the normal way of doing things, though. If they’re used to eating huge quantities of food they come to expect huge quantities of food and so they can quite easily consume more calories than they actually need, as they have always done so, even though this is at the root of their weight problem. Most children don’t know anything about calories and so it is up to parents to feed their children the right kind of diet and to limit portion sizes if they want to avoid their children growing up with bad habits that become much harder to shake off in adulthood.
Many children are growing up without an appreciation of exercise, either, spending all their free time watching television or playing computer games. Clearly, for individuals to avoid developing a weight problem that they end up battling for the rest of their life it is a good idea for them to learn to love exercise from an early age so that they continue to make it a priority as they grow older.
Everyone would like to maintain a healthy weight, but clearly many individuals are finding this a struggle, with some people permanently engaged in a battle to shift a few pounds because they can’t seem to change their dietary and exercise habits.