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The Epidemic Of Childhood Obesity Essay

1984 words - 8 pages

There is an obvious reason why children cannot drive when they feel like it, or go out and play wherever they choose. Children cannot have a cigarette or a beer either because if children did these things, they would certainly suffer the consequences, maybe with their lives. It sounds crazy to think of allowing kids to do anything dangerous, yet each day millions of American children slowly kill themselves with unhealthy dangerous foods. Of the 33.8 percent of Americans diagnosed with obesity in 2010, 17 percent of those were children between the ages of two and nineteen years old. In other words, obese children make up almost half of the total obese people in America, and this is a startling fact. (CDC, n.d.). These children are not overweight, but obese. It is clear that finding a solution is significant to the future health of this country; yet solving this serious problem involves the cooperation of all Americans. Education and conversation about the dangers of obesity will help society to unite and form a comprehensive plan for living. Working together in the school system, the community, and especially in the home can reduce childhood obesity significantly. To understand childhood obesity in America, it is important to understand what causes childhood obesity, how it affects children and families, and what people can do to help in the fight against childhood obesity.
One of the ways to understand how children become obese involves learning about how the environment affects their daily lives. The neighborhoods that children live in usually depend on the income level of the parent or guardian. If a child lives in a safe neighborhood with parks, sidewalks and a low crime rate, they are more likely to go outside and play. Some of these homes in the higher income areas even have swimming pools in their backyards. In contrast, some of the regions with a lower socioeconomic status do not have access to parks or any swimming pools, and going outside to play is not necessarily safe for children or adults. An argument against that claim is that it is the parents’ responsibility for their child’s health, and parents should take the kids outside and make sure they get the exercise they need. However, most parents in the lower income areas work long hours, and are tired when they come home from work. In addition, there are chores to do and meals to make. Going outside to play is usually all the kids have for exercise. These neighborhoods tend to be underdeveloped in the areas of street connectivity, adequate sidewalks, and bike paths. Community amenities are most likely too far away, and the children stay indoors. (Rahman, p. 52, para 1). When children spend time indoors, they like to play video games, watch television, or go on the computer, and some read books or solve puzzles.
There is hope in the near future for children who are stuck inside the house all the time. In an article about built environments by Tamanna Rahman and others, they say...

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