Over the past 30 years childhood obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate. With working parents, technology, and processed foods; children are eating more and are less active then ever seen in the past. Obesity is hitting youth so hard that health experts warn that this generation of children will be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents (Afterschool Alliance, 2006). This paper is intended to explain current issues surrounding childhood obesity, and touch on some of the causes and effects of this epidemic. Also, touch on what some states and school districts are doing to tackle obesity at its source. These programs and other ideas that are being implemented will be touched on with the intention to bring forth the importance of this issue that has been overlooked.
There are many factors that could contribute to childhood obesity, some of the most common ones are; television and technology, convenience foods, education, and habits taught at home. Alone, each one of these factors may not be something that would be the cause to obesity, but together they form a dangerous cocktail. Today's generation of children statistically do less activity then generations before; 95% of students are required to take physical education during school hours but 65% of these students do not meet recommended levels of physical activity ("The Obesity Epidemic and United States Students," n.d.). A contributing factor to this less physical generation could very well be television and technology. Younger generations are ever more dependent on technology; they are watching television and using computers more frequently. On average children are spending more than three hours a day watching television, playing videogames, or using a computer ("The Obesity Epidemic and United States Students," n.d.). Due to this dependency, children and teens are moving less, and sitting in the same position for long stretches of time.
Another contributing factor to...
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