Who is to Blame for Childhood Obesity?
Daniel Weintraub, a renowned columnist for the editorial pages of the Sacramento Bee, in his article, "The battle against fast food begins in the home", states that parents are to blame for childhood obesity. The essence of Weintraub's argument is that it is the parents responsibility not the government, nor are the fast food companies bound to teach kids how to eat healthy and how to say active. He also mentioned results of statistics made on social economic status and gender, which shows that more kids are overweight due to fast food restaurants, supersizing and lack of exercise. Weintraub refutes these findings by emphasizing how parents are responsible for what their kids eat. As a result, his own recommendations include: limiting the consumption of sodas, junk food as well as avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Weintraub's argument is that parental responsibility in food choices and physical activity over kids will result in combating childhood obesity, rather than only blaming the fast food industry by itself. To concur with Weintraub, it is the parent's responsibility to combat childhood obesity, although fast food industry also shares the responsibility. It is the role of the parents to instill good eating habits and to serve as role models for their children. If the kid has no medical reason for gaining weight then it seems acceptable to blame the parents. In the first place, the parents are the ones who buy the fast food for their children; parents are the ones who provide them with the money to buy unhealthy snacks. According to Weintraub, "it's the fault of the parents who let their kids eat unhealthy food and sit in front of the television of computer for hours at a time". Weintraub's point is that children are influenced specially by their parents because they are ones kids live almost all their life with. In consequence, kids are influenced in good ways but mostly on bad habits that their parents teach them. In addition, 12 millions kids are obese; the numbers had tripled in the last 30 years (CBS online). In the first hand, those obese adults did not gain weight in seconds, it all started since they were little. Yet, some readers may challenge my view by insisting that there are single parents who are too busy to control what their kids are eating, but serving water or milk instead of soda, sitting at a table instead of around a TV, these are small changes that can break old habits and make a real difference without spending too much of the parents time. Obese children do not get fat in their own; they get fat because the parents allow them to. It does not take to much to tell a child "no", actually, posing some limit is good at times. How can you teach a kid how to eat healthy if the only example that he sees is how to overeat? Indeed, the way children eat is the main cause of childhood obesity. As mentioned above, small changes in their diets can have large results in the future preventing them of obesity. Healthy choices include fruits and vegetables instead of sugary snacks. A good choice is carrots, apples, and even salads with a variety of vegetables instead of chips or a hamburger. One can also replace sweet juices and sodas with pure water. With this in mind, research scientist Susan H. Babey, co-author of the policy brief explains, "If parents are eating poorly, chances are their kids are too" (Parents are to blame for childhood obesity). In other words, Susan believes that the parents own eating habits play a significant role informing the child's own perception of what will contribute to a "normal diet". Children will learn bad eating habits by example, but helping children choose better foods, and right portions while they are young will ensure them to keep making the same choices as they continue growing. Parents who eat junk food and large portions tend to have children who also eat junk food with large portions. Maybe one cannot always control what they eat...
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