Parents Are Mainly To Blame For Childhood Obesity

1349 words - 5 pages

Research shows “the prevalence of obesity among U.S. preschoolers has doubled in recent decades” (May 629). This is not surprising because we live in a “fast food” world where convenience is king. Where the television is the babysitter, and staying indoors to play video games is preferred to playing outside. So is this the child’s fault? Sometimes, but it is my opinion that parents are mainly to blame for childhood obesity because they are the ones that buy the groceries, set the television limits, and rely on fast food to feed their children.
Parents are not teaching children how to eat healthy. They feed them cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, and fries. Kids are not being exposed to a regular diet of health fruits and vegetables. Now some people are just naturally overweight, but being “overweight” is not the same as being “obese.” Someone who is overweight has reached a maximum weight limit for their height. When someone goes beyond this maximum limit, then they are considered “obese” (Kiess 1). Research shows that “obesity is generally defined as the abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in adipose tissue” (Kiess 1). The increase in childhood obesity today is mainly the fault of the parent because they are unable to tell their children “no” when it comes to junk food (Kiess 104). Parents are the one buying all the food that comes into the house. They are the ones buying the sugary drinks and chips. They are the ones allowing the children to “have what they want.” Because parents are not teaching their children how to eat healthy, we will continue to see childhood obesity increase. Unfortunately, overweight children will be the ones who suffer because statistics show children who are overweight are more likely to become obese when they are adults (May 629). Parents must change what they bring into the home for their children to eat and offer them healthier alternatives.
More than 300 million people are obese in the State of Georgia (Kiess 63). According to Kiess “weight maintenance results from equivalent levels of energy intake and energy expenditure” (Kiess 112). The Institute of Medicine (IOM) explains children are becoming obese because they are “spending more time watching television instead of engaging in physical activity” (Beales 186). This research also shows “high levels of television viewership increases snacking which leads to higher calorie intake and may also reflect an over-all preference for a sedentary lifestyle” (Beales 186). The IOM also reports “that food advertising represents from 48% to 60% of advertising in children’s programming” (Beales 187). Beales states “many have used this relationship to argue that advertising "unhealthy" food products causes children to adopt eating habits that lead to obesity” (Beales 185). If a child watches thirty minutes, an hour, or however long they spend watching television, they are watching commercials for half of that time. Children play video games through a console or on the...

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