Child Obesity

Topics: Obesity, Repetitive strain injury, Nutrition Pages: 9 (2561 words) Published: April 15, 2011
Title: Child Obesity, a “Growing” Concern
Topic: Most Prevalent Causes of Obesity in the U.S.

Specific Purpose: To educate the audience on the key causes of the increasing obesity rate in the U.S. among adults, but especially among youth.

Thesis Statement: The main contributors to obesity among today's youth are environmental factors, choosing un-nutritious meals, portion distortion and the factor that fuels all of these, advertising media.


What do you think when you see an overweight child? Do you blame the child for not getting enough physical activity or eating the right foods, or do you blame the parents for not properly monitoring what the child consumes or how he or she spends their free time? It’s easy to judge overweight people when you see them because, although obesity is becoming more prevalent, it is still seen as socially unacceptable in our appearance-based society. But, before we rush to place all the blame on the child or the family, we need to ask ourselves if maybe external factors are playing a role in this rising epidemic.

The main contributors to obesity among today's youth are environmental factors, choosing un-nutritious meals, portion distortion and the factor that fuels all of these, advertising media.

Today I am going to talk about 4 main points that are essential in understanding why obesity is increasing in the U.S., particularly among our youth. First, we need to understand our environmental factors. Second, we need to have knowledge of our own lack of choosing nutritious meals. Third, we need to understand the “portion distortion” in the U.S. food industry, and lastly, we need to have knowledge of the role advertising media plays in all of this.

(Transition: “Let start by defining what obesity is and how it is measured.”)


I. Child obesity is defined... as a child whose body mass index (BMI) for their age is more than 95%. (Obesity Action Coalition) a. Body Mass Index is basically the ratio of weight to height of a child. b. Based on this definition it is evident that the rate of obese children has more than tripled since the 1960’s.

(Transition: “Now let’s take a look at the causes.”)

II. Environmental factors contribute to obesity among children and adults c. It is too much high energy food and a low energy lifestyle d. Limited access to physical activities
i. Lack of physical activity in school (Center for Disease Control) ii. Communities today are created for automobiles, not walking e. Advancements in technology
iii. DVDs, computers, videos games, TV, etc contributes to low physical activity and high calorie consumption (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). f. What makes it worse is combining low amounts of physical activity with increased caloric intake (snacking, drinking, etc.) iv. Sedentary behavior lowers a child’s metabolic rate (Center for Disease Control).

(Transition: “We have these environmental factors, but what makes it worse is that kids today have a greater ability to choose what they eat, but lacks the knowledge of what is healthy.”)

III. Lack of choosing nutritious meals is another factor of the increasing child obesity rate. g. Inability to distinguish between healthy and junk food v. There is a natural inclination in people that attracts them to foods that taste good (Beale). vi. There is an inability for children to understand the unhealthy factor in food (Beale). vii. Competitive foods overall overshadow subsidized lunches. 1. Ability for kids to buy offered junk food in vending machines, school stores, etc. (Ayala Laufer-Cahana)

(Transition: We know kids are unable to make healthy choices, but what adds to this problem is the fact that home-cooked meals have been replaced with eating out, which introduces the factor of “portion distortion.”)

IV. Portion...

Bibliography: Lindsey, Elizabeth. “Keying In On Computer Problems.” Business Insurance 33.37
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Pierce, Henry, M.D. Erlanger Hospital. Personal Interview. 10 Dec. 2004. (interview)
“Repetitive Stress Injuries.” Harvard University Health Services
Quilter, Deborah. The Repetitive Strain Injury Recovery Book. New York: Walker and Company, 1998. Print. (book)
“Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Workplace.” Narr
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