7 April 2014
A major problem facing the United States today is childhood obesity. According to Roy Benaroch, MD, from WebMD, one in five children is obese or overweight (Obesity in Children). This massive finding should not be taken lightly. According to the World Health Organization, at least 2.8 million people are dying per year due to being obese or overweight (Strategies and Solutions). This dangerous fact is not just an adult issue, children are even affected as well. A recent study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that “childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years” (Childhood Obesity Facts). There are many reasons for this extreme increase. Obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not burning them off by engaging in physical activity (Strategies and Solutions). Some children find video games and watching television more appealing than going outside and being active. However, with increased budget cuts, some of the blame could be put on schools. In some schools, students are no longer able to participate in a gym class. Therefore, students are not learning to be physically active or even receiving any exercise at all throughout their day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “a dramatic increase in diabetes and other diseases related to childhood obesity in the United States has added millions of dollars to health care costs…” (Childhood Obesity Facts). Health care costs are increasing along with obesity. Obesity is not easy for kids to outgrow. Studies done by the American Osteopathic Association found that “...among adults who had been obese during preschool age, one in three will still be obese in adulthood” (Wieting). If this problem can be stopped during childhood, fewer adults will then later have to deal with obesity. Clearly, something needs to be done to put an end to this epidemic. Childhood obesity is on the rise, but it can be potentially stopped by parental influence, schools enforcing healthier diets, and physical activity in schools. In order to reverse the issue of childhood obesity, parents need to influence their children to live a healthy lifestyle. This can be done when parents spend more active time with their kids. The amount of time kids are left unsupervised can influence how likely a child is to be overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “unsupervised children may spend a great deal of time indoors…watching TV or playing video games rather than engaging in more active outdoor pursuits” (Childhood Obesity Facts). When parents spend less time at home, children may be more likely to rely on unhealthy processed foods. Instead of leaving their children alone to fend for themselves, parents could make it a priority to engage in physical activity with their children. They can also encourage their kids to consume healthier foods. Parental food preferences directly influence and shape those of their children. Children tend to eat whatever their parents do (LiveScience Staff). If parents are consuming unhealthy food, chances are their children are as well. Having healthier food in the house is one way to eliminate that problem. According to the LiveScience Staff, “children who have overweight parents are more likely to be overweight” (Parents Blamed for Childhood Obesity). The examples set by parents regarding exercise and eating habits influence those of their children. A study done by the LiveScience Staff found that in California “teens whose parents drink soda every day are nearly 40 percent more likely to drink soda every day themselves…” (Parents Blamed for Childhood Obesity). The evidence clearly shows parents have the power to influence their children’s choices immensely. Being their primary role models, parental behavior influences their children's health, either positively or...
Bibliography: Benaroch, Roy. "Obesity in Children ." WebMD. WebMD, 11 July 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
This medical website is based upon the facts
8 May 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. This educational article informs the public about just
how beneficial exercise can be for the kids brain
News. 16 May 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. This newspaper article describes how many
healthier foods are no more expensive than junk food, which is contrary to popular
Obesity." AlterNet. birocreative, 3 July 2012. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. This article explains
how some students only get physical activity during school hours in gym class
Web. 25 Mar. 2014. This credible source contains an article that gives important
statistics and facts about the rising issue of childhood obesity and how it has increased
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