Fighting Childhood Obesity Essay

1683 words - 7 pages

Childhood obesity may not seem like a serious problem, but it is a serious medical condition that can have major effects on a child. Although genetics play a role in determining a child’s weight, it is usually due to a child’s amount of exercise and the consumption of healthy meals. Doctors are concerned with the issue, as we all should be, and they are creating new programs that are geared toward helping children learn how to follow a healthier lifestyle. There are some promising outlooks with these programs, and most doctors agree that parents should help their children create a more active and healthy lifestyle. They also agree that the government should provide more attention to the issue as well. Since the growing problem of childhood obesity can be detrimental to children’s health, actions should be taken by parents and the government to combat the issue by introducing children to a healthy diet, encouraging children to be physically active, and limiting the time spent playing video games and watching television.
In today’s society, most children are overweight due to unhealthy eating habits. Many families say they are usually too busy to cook a healthy meal and enjoy it with the family because they are always on-the-go. Families view fast food as a convenience because it is usually quicker and cheaper than cooking a meal at home. According to a recent study, 35% of a family’s food is consumed outside of the home (Burniat). Although fast food is often turned to when families need a quick fix, it can have serious health effects on the entire family. Another reason that families like to eat out is because their children are involved in so many activities at school. For example, kids involved in sports can end up spending a whole afternoon at practice. Many kids have homework to complete after practice and end up eating fast food to save some time. Also, any families spend their time together by eating meals while watching television, which can cause children to overeat (Denney-Wilson). Often partnered with fast food, soft drinks have risen to popularity. Many parents are unaware that one 12 ounce can of soda is filled with 10 teaspoons of sugar. Just one additional serving of soda increases a child’s odds of obesity by 60% (“1 Can of…”). If parents are made aware of what they are feeding their children, it might help reduce the percentage of obese children in the United States. Although most families would react to obesity by trying to feed their children healthier meals, some lower-income families are unable to afford the best quality food for their families. One study showed that children from households that are experiencing financial insecurity are more prone to health issues than those who are not experiencing these same issues (Yoo). The government should help these lower-income families by providing them with monetary support to purchase healthy food. Not only will the incorporation of a healthy diet help children overcome their...

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