The Problem of Obesity in Our Schools
Childhood obesity is a serious social problem that we face. We are responsible for teaching our children acceptable behaviors to interact with the world as well as to direct their own lives. When we do not teach our children the appropriate skills, they are unable to make healthy, safe choices for themselves. The key to combating this social issues lies in teaching our children at an early age the importance of good eating habits, then following that message up with our actions by showing them what good habits are and practicing them.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States in the past 20 years. “In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-two states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia ) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.” 1 This alarming trend only proves to emphasize that American are not addressing the issues needed to combat this problem. Nutrition habits are learned and practiced when we are young. Think back to when you were a kid. There were certain foods that were always around the house for you to snack on. Were these foods fresh vegetables and fruits, or were they cookies and potato chips? Did your family have a lot of pizza and TV dinners or did they have meals that your mother prepared from scratch? At least 25% of American teens are overweight or obese. 2 25%! That is an incredible number of kids. Overweight and obesity are also common in groups with low incomes. Women with low incomes are about 50 percent more likely to be obese than women with higher incomes. Among children and teens, overweight in non-Hispanic White teens is related to a lower family income. Low-income families also buy more high-calorie,...
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