Weight increase is related to greater consumption of fatty fast food and lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, abetted by television advertising of fast food, and less exercise. The drop in exercise is in turn due to unsuitable play facilities, parents' fear of letting their children out alone, and less active forms of children's recreation, such as television and computer games.
Children of overweight parents are 3 times more likely to be fat than those with slim parents. The relapse rate among fat children is high, with half regaining the lost weight. If a child is fat at age 7, he will probably remain so.