Food Ethics

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Food Ethics: Obesity In School Aged Children

Dawn Kreibick

Student Axia College

One out of four children are at risk of becoming overweight, and with the number on the rise, schools and parents need to step in and help with this issue. In spite of the food in children’s school cafeteria it still is not what I would feel good about them eating on a regular basis to support their health. Childhood obesity is problem that most Americans are faced with today this article will show the causes of childhood obesity, the definition of obesity, what can be done about it and the preventions of this growing concern.

Even though food ethics are important, it shows that it can have a exceptional affect on our children's lives, mainly the ones that are school aged. Obesity can occur at any age, and it can be trigger by factors such as inadequate diet, eating disorders and problems related to disturbed family relationships. Define by Wikipedia, obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health or wellbeing. The diagnosis of obesity is often based on their Body Mass Index or BMI. BMI is a statistical measurement in which compares a persons height and weight. BMI is acceptable for determining obesity for children two years of age and older. The normal range for BMI in a child varies with age and sex. Being overweight is used in reference to a person whom has more body fat than the typical person or required for the normal functioning of the body. A person who is overweight has a body mass index (BMI) of 25.0 – 9. Obesity is a condition in which there are excessively high amounts of body fat in relation to lean body mass. A person who is obese has a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 - 39.9. To be considered morbidly obese, a person would have body mass index of 40.0 or Childhood obesity can lead to life threatening conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and other disorders. Some of the other disorders would include liver disease, early puberty or menarche, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, skin infections, and asthma and other respiratory problems. Studies have shown that children who are overweight are more likely to grow up to be overweight themselves. Children who are obese often suffer from their peers teasing them, some are also harassed or discriminated by their family. Stereotypes from peers and others in society may lead to low self- esteem and depression. The chart below shows the complications of childhood obesity and how it affects the body.

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Personal experience is why most parents choose to look at their children’s school cafeterias with today’s lunch being served at school. Their children and other children alike in school are exposed to a life of poor nutrition from fatty foods. When children are exposed to a life of poor nutrition, the result can be obesity and regrets. Some parents can help but to let the schools provide for their children because they can’t afford to let their children take packed lunches from home. Many countless children breakfast or lunch comes from a vending machine at school which may consist of a can soda, a bag of chips, cookies or pre- heat sandwich which is loaded with high sodium and calories. Children may become junk food junkies but the schools have become increasingly dependent on the revenue that soda and candy machines bring in each year (Mueller 2007). According to the Times, “critics typically contend that the rules would lead to children not eating the food and would lead to a loss of revenue; something schools can’t afford; that is brought in by fatty or sugary products”. Citing a USDA and CDC survey found 12 of 17 schools that began offering healthful options increased their revenue while one lost slightly and four reported no change. Many parents are faced now with the concern of fast food restaurants being within walking distance...
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