About one in five American kids is overweight enough to be considered obese (Parr 45). Obesity being 20% or more overweight, is considered a disease because it is associated with so many health problems, like heart disease and diabetes. Being obese as a child usually leads into being obese through adulthood. “One third of adults are obese, and a third of these got that way in childhood” (Parr 53). That is why it is so important to keep kids from becoming overweight and to help obese kids lose weight. The increasing number of obese parents, technology, children having no supervision after school, and the unhealthy content of school lunches are to blame for the increasing number of overweight kids in the United States. A majority of the information used in writing this paper came from obesity source books, magazine articles, and websites devoted to helping children lose weight.
Decades ago children would play tag, ride bikes, and participate in other outdoor after school activities following a nutritious snack prepared for them by one of their parents. Today, most children come home to an empty house, snack on any junk they can find, and watch television or play video games until their parents get home hours later. With no supervision, who can blame them? The foods offered at schools have changed as well. Candy, chips, and soda are a favorite of most children when eating their school lunch. Vending machines are now in most cafeterias today too, making it even easier for children to snack before and after lunch. America is one of the most overweight populations in the world, and we all wonder why. The following paper examines the root causes of this public health problem, answers the question of “why”, and offers possible solutions, to this crisis.
Society as a whole is more overweight than ever before, causing their poor eating and exercising habits to be passed down onto their children. Of course genetics plays a part in some cases of obesity children, but for the most part, it is really more an issue of the habits that kids pick up from their parents. “If both parents are obese, their child has an 80% chance of being obese, if one parent is obese, their child has a 40% chance of being obese, and if neither parent is obese, their child has only a 5% chance of being obese” (Bray 68). Shared family behaviors such as eating and activity habits influence a childs body weight. When a child sees their mom or dad eating unhealthy foods all the time, and snacking throughout the day, that child will get used to that eating pattern and follow in the footsteps of their parents. Overweight parents also tend to cook high calorie foods and order out more than thinner parents. This is bad because not only does that child eat foods high in fat throughout their whole childhood, but they also pick up the high-fat style of cooking as well. If a parent is overweight, it might not be as huge of a priority for them to get their child into shape. Even if it is, the extent to which they can exercise with them is limited. It is a key factor when your child is overweight to get them active as well as to cut down the amount of fat in their diet. But you must carefully cut down the fat in their diet. Reducing fat is a good way to cut calories without depriving your child of nutrients. Simple ways to cut the fat in your family’s diet include eating low-fat or even better, non-fat dairy products, poultry without the skin, and lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free breads and cereals. Making small changes to your family’s diet is a good, healthy way to help your child lose weight. It is also good to involve your child in food shopping and preparing meals. This teaches children about nutrition, and gives them a feeling of accomplishment.
Physical education is only part of the solution. “Just as parents reinforce good reading habits, they also should encourage their children to incorporate physical...