America Vs. Obesity
Imagine having a son, daughter, friend, or even a possible acquaintance that happens to be 10pounds over their general weight range. 10 pounds may not seem too much in this day and age but being diagnosed “obese” also means the chance of facing multiple health risks, psychological damage, and other life affecting illnesses. Obesity is a rapidly increasing disease that is spreading across America in children that must be faced and put an end to now. Some say the “children are the future” so how will we feel when children have to unwilling grow up with challenges because they unintentionally became obese? This disease can possibly be prevented but only through education in a healthier nutrient lifestyle.
Through mass media televisions, magazines, and commercials seem to have all focused on topics that are trending with debate within the U.S. such as abortion, legalizing of gay marriage, or even legalization of marijuana. All of which has taken away the attention of this rising epidemic other wise known as obesity. Overweight children are more likely to experience health problems that can drastically affect development through their adolescent years. The risks associated with obesity include asthma, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and a higher risk of obtaining chronic conditions like stroke; breast, colon, and kidney cancers. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist “Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled for the children 2 to 5 years of age and youth 12 to 19, and it has quadrupled for children 6 to 11 years of age.” It is a startling statistic that although we are continuously battling against obesity it seems as though our efforts have not made a significant achievement. Changes must be made in the current process of how we deal with this situation, going from government involvement, to the parents of young children, and most importantly how to transition the new information in to the daily lives of Americans.
For a person who is naturally born fit and appears to have a healthy ideal body weight, they may grow up thinking a person who is overweight and obese must choose to live that way. It must be their fault because every person has the will power to control what they eat, quantity and proportion wise. But in fact the cause of obesity is more complicated than that, it involves multiple contributing factors that deal with genetic, biology, and cultural environment. Obesity typically happens when a person eats more calories than they can burn; eventually the weight just collectively sits there and thus how the individual gains weight. Children going from the early stages of being infants look to their parents as the source of nourishment. Parents ultimately have the power and control over the selection of what they choose to buy for their kids. “If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that their children will also be obese. However when both parents are obese, the children have an 80 percent chance of being obese” (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 79) The problem does not come from the children but the lifestyle parents have enabled them to live with, healthier choices should be made when considering what to eat. Providing a positive image so that the children can follow in the same footsteps. If parents in the United States continue to live with unhealthy choices the cycle will never end, and obesity in children will persist.
Searching for the perfect body may lead you on a quest that may cost you thousands of dollars, restrict on what you eat, spending countless hours in the gym, or possibly even your life. “We are taught that excessive body weight and fat are undesirable through advertisements, the media, and social ridicule” (Kearney p32) A persons body image can be the most important feature to a person, and it is something all children during their adolescent years to even adults come across. The...
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