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Obesity: A Growing Problem Essay

949 words - 4 pages

Overweight and obese children are a significant problem in the United States today. The amount of overweight adolescents and younger children have sky rocketed, and has more than tripled since the 1970s. Developing overweight habits while young inhibits an individual’s chances of being healthy later in life. In order to prevent the obesity epidemic in our country, the major causes and root problems of obesity must be explored and put to an end. Obviously, overeating and a lacking of physical activity both contribute immensely to obesity. The one most unaware to the public eye is the overwhelming availability of cheap food and how that affects social classes. Childhood obesity is an issue ...view middle of the document...

Not only meal sizes have grown, but salty snacks and even soft drinks have upped their portion sizes. Snack bags have upped from about one ounce to 1.6 ounces per bag, while soft drinks grew as much as 12.2 ounces to 19.9 ounces on average. (Bishop, 2.) Most importantly, nutritional value has plummeted, and children choose to fill up on unhealthy foods rather than foods that are good for them. Children must have a healthy diet to support optimal brain growth and development. Today, the majority of American children fall short of a healthy diet, as only 21% eat the daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. (Bishop, 3). Instead, they fuel up on fast food that is both rich in fat, and low in nutrition. As much as one-third of children choose to eat fast food daily, rather than eating a healthy meal at home, resulting in about 6 extra pounds of weight gain per year. If children would cut out the unnecessary calorie intake, watch their portion sizes, and eat healthy meals, the amount of kids overeating would plummet down.
Also, little to no exercise greatly enhances a child’s chances of becoming obese. Children today are accustom to staying indoors, never going outside and expending any energy. As time goes by, technology improves; creating lazy, unhealthy habits for children and adolescents. Kids never go outside to play anymore, as they have endless amounts of TV channels and video games. Even healthy activites, like skateboards and scooters, have been motorized due to technology. This generation is way too comfortable with being lazy, and technology enforces that. (Price, 2.) TV is a huge contributing factor to childhood obesity, as it takes time away from being active, as well as leads to increased snacking and exposes kids to food advertisements. T.D. Snyder states, “Children 8-18 years spend an average of 7.5 hours...

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