Obesity Is a Problem

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Brian Moon
Professor Agius
Rhet 120-03
12/4/2012
Childhood Obesity: a problem Childhood obesity is not merely an issue in the United States- it is an epidemic. The number of overweight and obese children in America has increased at an alarming rate over the past years, and there is no chance of it slowing down unless action is taken. One out of three children is considered overweight or obese. A fast-food craze has swept over the country, consequentially leaving a trail of poor nutrition. Fast-food corporations seem to be encouraging children to consume regular amounts of unhealthy foods by giving away toys with the purchase of a child’s meal. Televisions, computers, and video games, which are considered to be technological necessities, have begun to cloud the importance of exercise. These influences can lead to childhood obesity, which comes with an abundance of negative effects. Obesity puts children at a high risk of developing many serious illnesses. Prevention can be achieved by following a balanced diet and by participating in a healthy amount of physical activity. There are a great deal of causes and negative effects of obesity in children, but fortunately there are also ways to hinder or even discontinue the spread of this crisis. One factor that influences childhood obesity is the limited access to healthy foods. Children raised in low-income backgrounds have a greater risk of becoming obese (Mayo Foundation). Poverty may inhibit some parents from being able to provide their children with exercise and a proper nutritional diet due to a lack of time or money. In United States, the average child spends over three hours each day watching television (eMedicineHealth). Nowadays, many children like to watch TV. After finishing their homework, they run to turn on the TV and watch the latest episode of SpongeBob or Phineas and Ferb. During this time, there are many instant food commercials. It is companies’ goals to direct all their efforts in appealing to the youth and children. With fancy packaging and persuading commercials it would be hard for any child to resist the temptations of such an irresistible item like candy and fat packed sweets. Kids are so easy to persuade and unfortunately commercials and advertisements target these young children and make a profit while doing so. In an article entitled "TV Food Advertisements and Childhood Obesity" by the Health Gal, there was a study that showed overweight and obese children eat more after watching T.V. food advertisements. It found that "today's children are the first generation of Americans projected to have shorter lifespan than their parents." This article contains a lot of statistics that help to support its claim of T.V. advertisements influencing childhood obesity, but while T.V. advertisements are influencing to young children it still can fall back to the parents and their lack of discipline while watching T.V. and eating dinner. Another cause of this problem is linked to the options of food that schools and day cares are giving to the children. Schools are in charge of most of a child’s education. Most school districts offer students several programs, such as music and art programs, which help children with their learning. It is ironic how schools are teaching students not to eat junk food and eat healthy ones, but at the same time, school cafeterias are serving junk foods. Nowadays, many American families are forced to enroll their children in a daycare at a young age. It can be a hard decision to make because they are putting their child in the hands of strangers. Parents are forced to trust in these facilities and hope their children are being well taken care of. One article in particular entitled "Day Care Food May Contribute To Childhood Obesity" from the Health Guide magazine, basically relates daycare food to childhood obesity. This article states that nearly 82% of American children under the age...
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