Fast Food and Childhood Obesity

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Advertisement and Childhood Obesity

Would you feed your children lard? The answer for most all of us is “No Way”. Most parents can safely say that they want healthy choices for their children and would never want to give them something that is bad for them. However, with many of the foods on fast food menus this is not far from the truth. We have all heard the statement that childhood obesity is on the rise, and has been for quite some time now. We have seen the heartbreaking stories of overweight children being bullied, made fun of, and even being subject to more diseases. According to the center for disease control the childhood obesity rate rose from 7% in 1980 to an unbelievable 20% in 2008 (CDC, 2011). Parents spend an unbelievable amount of time trying to decide if vaccinations are right for their child, if they should put them on a certain medication, or worrying about mercury levels. Yet, when it comes to what our children consume we sometimes make our decision for convince over healthy. Childhood obesity is on the rise and fast food advertisements may be to blame for this epidemic. We have all seen the ads full of colorful characters and the fun bonus surprise of a toy. Fast food companies have had the ability to catch children’s attention from the start of the “Happy Meal”. Even the name of this particular meal leaves one to assume that it is responsible for creating a happy feeling. Sure, it makes the child happy because they got a toy, but is it healthy? Aside from offering toys that are geared towards whatever movie or item is hip to children at the time, fast food restaurants even offer a colorful playground to draw children in. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled among children ages 2 to 5 (5.0% to 12.4%) and ages 6 to 11 (6.5% to 17.0%). In teens ages 12 to 19, prevalence rates have tripled (5.0% to 17.6%)” (APA, 2011). Childhood obesity has risen by...
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