Obesity occurs when an individual has more body fat then what is considered healthy for their height. People who have excess body fat are more likely to develop health issues then non-obese people. Sadly, obesity has become an epidemic in our nation, spreading throughout both the adult and adolescent communities. “Recent studies have shown that 17 percent of the nation’s 6- to 19-year-olds are obese, and that more than a third are overweight. Those rates have about doubled in the past three decades,” (Hotakainen 2012). Unquestionably, there have been many changes in our culture over the last 30 years. Technology and modern conveniences have transformed the way people work and play in the 21st century. Currently, many young people find themselves trying to keep up with schedules that, in most cases, leave little time for healthy choices. Thus, many children find it difficult to maintain their ideal body weight. Undeniably, there are many different lifestyle factors responsible for the obesity issue affecting our American youth today. Presently, the way Americans prepare food is very different compared to the methods from generations ago. There was a time when most people made their meals from scratch. Families sat down together around the table and ate homemade low processed foods. However, our society has changed greatly over the years. Very few households have time to prepare family style dinners and instead rely heavily on sources that offer fast effortless meals. Regrettably, parents are not always home and therefore cannot supervise what their children are eating at mealtime. Pantries are filled with junk food while family freezers are stocked with microwavable, processed foods. Inevitably, children are fending for themselves and end up consuming foods that will be, more than likely, high in fat, sugar, and calories.
In addition to manufactured foods, children are also frequently eating at fast food...