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Obesity Epidemic In America Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

There is an epidemic festering in America’s streets today. It is not one of violence, nor is it one of drugs or abuse; instead it is a silent epidemic that is centered on our nation’s growing number of obese children. For the first time in the history of the United States, and perhaps in world history, the children of our future are expected to live a shorter life than that of their parents. The obesity rate in America has tripled in the last twenty years fostering three hundred thousand deaths per year with a growing number of obese children (greenblatt). Today in fact, it is estimated that as a result from this elevating number, approximately 32 percent of our nation’s children and teens are at risk for serious health problems, including but not limited to high blood pressure and high cholesterol (Hellmich). This epidemic is scary to say the least, and while some cases of obesity in children may have justifiable medical causes, the majority are due to a lack of poor eating and exercise habits along with irresponsible parenting. Ultimately it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children are receiving adequate nutrition, and to foster a healthy life style. Parents need to be held accountable for the health of their children.
Statistics show that American families spend between 15 and 18 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables but should be spending between 43 to 70 percent to receive the servings recommended by the USDA to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Is this statistic due to the increasing prices of food at the store: if asked, a parent would most likely say, the cost of food would be a factor in today’s economy with continuously growing prices at the grocery store. Another rationale could be our hectic lifestyles as American parents, with the long hours at work and the stress of not having enough time in the day. Perhaps the issue could even be due to the advances in electronics and the fact that they make everything easier and pulls us away from physical activity. There is also the issue of parents who aren’t properly educated about nutrition. If the child isn’t getting proper nutrition it could very likely be a parallel that their parent isn’t as well. In reality all these factors contribute to this growing epidemic of obese children in America, however the question is not whether these are legitimate reasons for childhood obesity because they are; the question at hand is what can and should be done about it.
Any parent would say that they don’t want their child to live with obesity and the troubles that comes along with it. They may also claim that it isn’t their child’s lifestyle or their eating habits, but that the culprit is their genetics. The fact is that a large number of obese children also have obese or overweight parents. The evidence in these cases shows that the parent and the child being obese is not a result of genetics but in reality a result of the parent not having the necessary...

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