What is the cause of obesity in children?
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Male Speaker: What is the cause of the problem in children? Dr. William McCarthy: Primarily, the cause of overweight and obesity in children is pretty much the same as in adults. We are seeing changes in eating habits; we are seeing more fast foods, larger serving sizes. Children are tending to eat a lot more in the way of soft drinks and snack foods. Many children, the majority of their calories actually come from soft drinks or snack foods. We are also seeing major changes in physical activity. Children are not newly as active as they were in past, children are putting more and more time in front of television screen or computer screen. The average child spends up to 20-30 hours per week in front of a television set or a computer screen and if they are watching TV they may see, 40,000 ads or more that are advertising for breakfast cereals also snack foods, soft drinks. We also see these things such as snack foods and soft drinks that are available quite frequently in schools, children have far more access to these, these days and so, what we are seeing is the same trend in children as we are seeing in adults, this persistent tendency towards obesity and overweight.