Childhood Obesity Essay

1738 words - 7 pages

"Today, about one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate from 1983. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the Number 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents" (Clinton, para. 3 2011).
Children may not understand the complexities of food intake or obesity but they continue to be affected by the issue. The reality is that if a parent enables their kids to make poor eating choices as children; they will struggle as adults to make the right eating choices. Many factors contribute to childhood obesity but the major factors are living sedentary lifestyles along with poor nutrition and over consumption of fatty foods.
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English language defines obese as excessively fat; corpulent (bulkiness or largeness of body); overweight. According Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD, (2009) the child's Body Mass Index (BMI)-the number calculated from a person's weight and height- provides a reliable indicator of body fatness. A person's body fat percentage is the total weight of the person's fat divided by the person's weight and consists of essential body fat and storage body fat. A child’s BMI is calculated to asses there weight to make sure children are healthy at there current status. Based on research from the American Heart Association (2011) 23.4 million children ages two to nineteen are overweight and obese. 12.3 million of those children are males and 11.1 million are females.
There is no debate about whether childhood obesity is a problem in the United States. The debate should begin with acknowledging the problem and making life style changes to control what foods we eat and what we allow our children to eat. The obesity epidemic can change if Americans can change they way they choose to live. First, parents must become educated with the facts about proper food consumption for themselves and their children. Second, children need to partake in afterschool activities and events living an active life. Third and most important, parents should be role models by eating proper nutritional meals and getting plenty of exercise.
Fast foods contribution to obesity
One of the major factors in the childhood obesity epidemic is the fast food industry. The online dictionary defines fast food as inexpensive food, such as hamburgers and fried chicken, prepared and served quickly. Some examples of fast food restaurants are: McDonald’s, Wendy's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Taco Time, Arby's, Burgersville, Taco Dell Mar, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, and Jack in the Box. Parents frequently allow their children to indulge in the fast foods restaurants even though there foods are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat.
Parents often time feed themselves and their children fast food even though they know it is...

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