Obesity Epidemic in America

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Family plays a huge part in the growing epidemic of child hood obesity. But luckily to these families there are now many developing programs to aid their children into developing good eating habits. While in some lifestyle interventions even prescription drugs are now available to these unfortunate children. I do say unfortunate because in a sense it is not the fault of these children but the stupidity and laziness of their parents. Adding weight controlling drugs such as orlistat or sibutramine seem to help them in their recovery. In 2003 a study found that possibly no program or intervention would have effect on the children. But Hiltje Oude Luttikhuis of the Beatrix Children’s Hospital and the Department of Epidemiology in Groningen, Netherlands has found that these family oriented interventions along with diet and exercise diminish childhood obesity. It is said that worldwide 10 % of 5-17 year olds are overweight and 2-3% are overweight. While in America 30% and in Europe 20% of children are considered to be obese. The odd trend in America is that the poor and the rich are more likely to be obese. So where does this leave the middle class? The real problem lies in deciding which aspects of these lifestyle interventions are effective and which are not. Let us not forget the many variables that go into the studies such as self-esteem what type of character the obese child has. Obesity in society today is a serious issue with many health issues and social consequences that don't look to be fixed anytime soon. Is it any wonder? Take a look around; obesity is a disease that is on the rise affecting more and more people each year. In the USA 58 million Americans are overweight, 40 million are obese and three million are morbidly obese. These numbers are insane as eight out of ten Americans over the age of twenty-five are overweight. In 2001 a survey conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of obesity in America it was found that sixty-one percent of Americans are overweight. .Obesity has become a plague taking a toll on the American society in epidemic proportions. Parents look at their children and see promise, hope, and future. No parent wants to set their child up for failure. Parents strive to set their children up for success. This is done by influencing and training children up starting at a young age. Is a child being set up for success if the child is obese and unhealthy by the time they enter Kindergarten? How can an obese child have a confident and positive self esteem if on the first day of school they suddenly learn what it feels like to not fit in? This is how it was for my cousin, who never felt out of place for four years. Then suddenly on her first day of school she learned a lesson in cruelty, acceptance, and appearance. It was at this point when her mother put her youngest child on a diet. This thought is baffling since having a healthy lifestyle has been etched into young American minds since childhood. For example, “Got Milk?” commercials on television advertise how milk can build strong bones and “does a body good”. The DARE programs at schools inform children how to “say no to drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol”. DARE programs even go as far as to give each child a certificate of graduation. I am concerned about the price these children will have to pay as they become adults. There are the many diseases that come with the affliction of obesity. Also weight plays a huge part in one personal image. With no ownership of quality self-esteem one is likely to commit suicide. If they do not decide to even go that far it will always be extremely hard for them to find a job or enter into a relationship of love. Low self-esteem causes many problems that will not be a positive factor in one becoming a functioning member of society. Also with obesity come the many health risks involved: heart disease, cancer, diabetes and...
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