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Childhood Obesity: Schools and the Effect They

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Childhood Obesity: Schools and the Effect They
It is 11:59, and seven year old Johnny sits anxiously in his seat, entranced as he stares at the second hand slowly creeping around the clock and awaiting the moment when the minute will pass and lunchtime will begin. The bell rings, and Johnny dashes from the seat that has confined him from the freedom that can only be found in the school cafeteria. He reaches in his pocket, filtering through various candy wrappers, and pulls out the five-dollar bill his mother gave him on his way out the door. He vigorously hands the lunch-lady his crumpled up five in exchange for an empty tray, and races to the cornucopia of high-cholesterol delights, salted and sugary snacks, and carbonated drinks. His eyes light up as he stacks his once empty tray with a handful of fried chicken fingers, a slice of cheese pizza, one chocolate chip cookie, and finally after passing up the apple juice, milk and water, grabs the last coca-cola to compliment the theme of his nutrition choices. After consumption, Johnny is too full to spend the remainder of his lunch break playing dodge ball or swinging from the monkey bars, instead he reaches into his backpack and pulls out his gameboy to entertain him during the rest of his free time. As a result of Johnny’s day at school, he has gotten little physical activity and a questionable nutritional experience. Consequently, Johnny suffers from childhood obesity, contributing to the nearly doubled rate over the past decade. Obesity in American children is no longer a rarity; it is rapidly escalating, and furthermore destroying the health and emotional status of the children affected. Unfortunately, many people in the general public do not consider childhood obesity to be a problem of more than aesthetic dimensions, even despite the fact that three hundred thousand Americans die each year from being overweight or obese (Greenblat). Furthermore, it is costing Americans 117 billion dollars each year on health problems related to the epidemic (Nakaya). With

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