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Child Obesity in the Philippines

Obesity or being overweight has grown in the last couple of decades into alarming levels especially with the prevalence of junk food and fast food across the world. Obesity worsens as it is also afflicting children at very young ages making them more at risk with diseases related to obesity such as hypertension, cardiac arrest and even psychological depression.

In the Philippines, obesity is also fast becoming a problem with the introduction and prevalence of junk consumer goods. Child obesity in the Philippines is not just a matter of nutritional problem but is also a cultural issue. For one, the older generation of Filipinos has the penchant of indulging their babies and kids with food to be healthy. There is a prevailing misconception among older generation Filipinos that a chubby child is cute and healthy. This is also further reinforced by the inclination of parents to indulge their children with food and material things that they were deprived when they were young. Thus, Filipino parents tend to give everything that their children want unconscious that they are actually putting their children at risk.

Not just cultural, social factors also contribute in the prevalence of obesity among children. Gone when the last generation of fat kids were so attached to watching television. Today, this sedentary activity was replaced by computer and video games. Many children today spend most of their hours on computer or any internet access or gaming console seated instead of engaging in physical activities or sports that could otherwise help burn food. Parents are also so preoccupied with work that they would prefer to let their children be as they are – lazy at home playing computers. The result is fat lazy children who are exposed to violent video games and unfamiliar with any household chore.

Finally, the primary suspect for obesity is unhealthy food. Junk food, instant meals, instant juice, fast food like Jollibee and Mcdonalds, softdrinks, and junk snacks are prevalent and easily accessible to children, which are all continuously changing the unhealthy eating habits of children. Modern food is fortified with artificial ingredient, flavors, preservatives and chemicals that has a long term effect on the health of children. This explains why diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and other nutritional imbalance sicknesses are afflicting people at even younger ages.

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