Conroy, Fall 2009
Childhood Obesity A Big Problem
A survey taken by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals in January of 2007 showed that over nine million children ages 6 to 19 in the United States were obese; that comes out to about 16 percent (N.A.C.H. 1). While this is a disturbing statistic in itself, a more problematic statistic is that the number of obese children in the U.S. has triples since 1980 (N.A.C.H. 1)—proof that obesity is a huge problem and will not be going away any time soon. Obesity as a child more often than not leads to obesity as an adult (N.A.C.H. 1), which has lead to 26.1 percent of adults in this country being obese. It is much easier for kids to lose weight than it is for adults, and for this reason the society needs to find a way to cut down on childhood obesity to secure longer, healthier lives for most Americans. There are many different opinions on what the main cause of obesity is, including: children do not get enough exercise, kids eat too much fast food, and nobody is eating enough fruits and vegetables. While all of these reasons are part of why more than nine million American adolescents are obese today, there are two groups who have the power and the influence to make a drastic change in how seriously kids take their health; those people are parents and teachers. The nation-wide problem of obesity can be solved by having more classes on nutrition and physical activity in high schools. A recent study by Healthy Child Care Magazine discovered that children from the ages of 4 to 10 are more willing to eat at fruits and vegetables if their parents do (Healthy Child Care, 1). This shows just how much of an influence parents are on kids in this age group. Eating more fruits and vegetables can go a long way in improving a child’s health. According to a study taken by Preventive Medicine Magazine, “overweight girls reported 0.7 fewer [fruits and vegetables] a day than girls who...
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