Dietary intake may have some effect on weight gain in children and adolescents in the development of adult obesity. The effects of adiposity -fat found in adipose tissue- was examined in regards to caloric intake and macronutrients in children (Berkowitz and Stunkard 2002). Some results indicated that such dietary consumption at infancy may contribute to adiposity in childhood. However, other studies showed that in childhood, dietary intake may not be the only contributing factor to the accumulation of adiposity, but also, genetic and environmental factors (Biro and Wien 2010). One environmental factor that contributes to the risk of developing adult obesity from childhood or adolescent obesity is sedentary lifestyle practices.
Physical inactivity, due to sedentary lifestyle practices, is one factor influencing the development of adult obesity from childhood and adolescent obesity. Such practices engaged in at a younger age includes the usage of electronic devices (Berkey et al 2000). Empirical evidence studied has noted a correlation between the viewing of television done by youth and the increased percentage of adiposity within the body (Biro and Wien 2010). As one engages in television viewing, the consumption of empty calorie food items occurs (Mc Intyre 2011). According to Hancox, Milne, and Poulton (2004), individuals involved in television viewing for two hours per day showed an increase in weight gain and demonstrated poor fitness levels. Thus, sedentary practices as well as social influences fostered by television viewing promote a reduction in energy expenditure, and may increase energy intake (Biro and Wien 2010).
Social influences contribute extensively to certain lifestyle practices adopted during childhood that progresses into adulthood. Three main groups that influence children and adolescents socially are their parents, peers, and the community. Eisenberg, Radunovich, and Brennan (2007) pointed out that the lifestyle of a child is influenced heavily, first by parents and secondly by the community. It is noted that children and adolescents model their parents eating habits and physical activities. In a study conducted by Koehly and Loscazo (2009), how individuals form ties with one another was examined based on similarities of weight status, physical activity, and eating habits. The findings indicated that social interaction, via peer pressure, is one factor in determining the lifestyle path of a child towards adulthood. Additionally, the social status of a family, as it relates to socioeconomic status was examined. In particular, the level of income gained may cause one to adopt a certain lifestyle. Findings seem to suggest that a family who is less fortunate tends to succumb to factors that lead to bad eating habits, which may lead to obesity (Goodman 2008).
Lifestyle practices such as poor dietary intake, sedentary practices and social influences, may lead to the development of adult obesity from childhood and adolescent obesity. These practices once fostered in the earlier stages of life, can pose adverse health problems, as one is faced with adulthood. Consequently, if such negative lifestyle practices are not monitored or completely eliminated from a tender age, the onset of adult obesity occurs.
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