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Childhood Obesity

By tylerkeith Dec 14, 2012 801 Words
Childhood obesity today has grown to epidemic proportions in the United States. Today over 16% of children and adolescents from six to 19 years of age are overweight and/or obese. Children need to have the proper guidance to eat healthier foods, and have more physical activity on a daily basis. Obesity in children carries the risk of, high cholesterol, depression, and type 2 diabetes in children. Our schools need to implement salad bars and replace vending machines with healthier alternatives. Parents and school officials need to be more aggressive to help control childhood obesity (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004).

Children that are obese need to be taught about eating healthy food choices, from whole-grain foods, fruits, vegetables, and cut down on fried foods. Proper nutrition education is well documented to be effective in combating obesity in students. Parents can help guide their children to keep track of their eating habits, by keeping a food journal. Involving the whole family to eat healthier foods, and planning fun physical activities together, will help show your child that he is not being singled out. Parents are the role models whose health behaviors play a vital role in the development of their children. The health and welfare is a concern that we as parents need to take very serious. (The Center for Childhood Obesity) stressed “that parents, and educators have to be better role models for our children; it is their futures that we are putting at risk”. Successful childhood obesity prevention will require action at multiple levels; interventions must provide support to individuals, families, schools, healthcare providers, and communities to foster healthier eating and activity programs to reduce obesity risk and promote healthy growth and development. Furthermore, with the budget cuts and the rise in childhood obesity more needs to be done to put longer physical education classes back into our schools, whatever that cost may be. Childhood obesity comes from so many factors, with budget costs, and the emphasis for better test scores, that does not leave room for physical education classes. With the growing budget cuts hitting our school systems, it makes it almost impossible for schools to even meet the state physical education requirements. Physical education classes have gone from sixty minutes to less than thirty minutes a day; most schools do not even offer physical education every day. Some schools have eliminated physical education all together. Schools must support a safe and supportive environment with policies, and set forth practices to promote healthy behaviors. Students need to learn and practice healthy eating habits and physical activity behaviors. In the United States one in three children and teens are overweight or obese, and with the physical education classes becoming less and less in our schools, MOVABLE is launching MOVchallenge, a school-wide program that motivates children to be more active by challenging them to move 100 miles in three weeks. They are making strides in the childhood obesity epidemic with this aspiring program to get our kids moving. Designed to be simple and affordable for schools, and groups in the fight against childhood obesity (MOVABLE (8) New Challenge Gets Kids Moving Together to Fight Childhood Obesity). While childhood obesity has become a huge health problem, it also has a significant impact on the financial impact for our healthcare system. According to the (American Heart Association 2009) Obesity costs tripled in the past decade, in the United States and Canada, the total cost of excess medical care caused by being overweight and obese is $127 million. With the staggering numbers, you would think that our state officials down to our local officials would be demanding that more action be taken. By 2030, obesity care could account for up to 17 percent of total healthcare costs. Ultimately, there are no easy answers in the fight against childhood obesity. However childhood obesity can be reduced, if we as parents set the role for proper nutrition and exercise. Schools need to actively take part in the healthy choices that are served in our lunch programs, and that every vending machine on campus only serves healthy choices. Also, schools need to have physical education five days week and it should be at least forty five minutes to one hour of mandatory physical exercise. The good news is obesity can be stopped. With school leaders and parents becoming stronger advocates in the fight against childhood obesity, they help to guide children down the path to a healthier life.

Reference
American Heart Association. (2012). Understanding Childhood Obesity. Retrieved from www.heart.org/childhood-obesity
The Center for Childhood Obesity. Retrieved from
www.hhdev.psu.edu/ccor/
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2004). Physical Activity and Childhood Obesity: Strategies and Solutions for Schools and Parents. Retrieved from www.web.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu

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