We Must Work To Prevent Childhood Obesity

1844 words - 7 pages

Did you know that America has a growing problem that has now been considered to have reached epidemic proportions? That epidemic is childhood obesity. Obesity is a condition when an individual has an excessive amount of body fat. Some individuals can even be characterized as morbidly obese depending on how overweight they are. A child’s height, weight and age, can be measured by their physician, who can determine if they are above the normal range. Children are considered obese if their body mass index (BMI) falls in the 95th percentile range. That would make the average weight for boys 12 to 13 years old 85 to 100 pounds. The range for girls would be 95 to 105 pounds. There are several theories about the causes of obesity. Herein I will list some of the possible causes, a few of the health risks and what can be done to help prevent obesity in our children.
Let us take a look at poverty. Most families in the lower to poverty income bracket buy the cheaper brand food items for their family, which are not necessarily the healthiest foods to eat. These foods are normally higher in sugar, sodium, calories and more (book Frances M. Berg, MS, LN. Underage & Overweight America’s childhood obesity crisis what every family needs to know). Some physicians believe that the major culprits for childhood obesity would be fast foods and poor eating habits. Low priced fast foods, weekly specials and discounts for super-sizing meals appear to be a quick and easy solution for parents on the go. But by eating these salty, high caloric foods we pay, and our children pay with their health. In addition to the fast food ploys, there are the candy and soda machines at the local schools instead of healthier options. Concerns are growing to the extent that a well known physician spoke out on ABC World News stating that the only way to stop this problem is to start taking the obese children away from their parents and homes and place them in the foster care system. Later I will provide you with some healthy, economical options…
Lack of exercise and technology (internet, TV and video games) also contribute to obesity in our society. With cable TV, video games (i.e. Xbox, Playstation, and Wii), the computer and interactive games on the internet, no wonder the youth of today are inclined to stay inside and sit and eat their lives away. There are also the dreaded commercials and advertisements of various unhealthy foods. “Have it your way,” or “Supersize your order.” Colorful and tactfully scripted commercials to attact even the youngest viewer, and the prices to attract the parents pocketbook. It is no wonder that childhood obesity has been a hot topic in congress and abroad for over a decade now and it appears that there is no end in sight to how to the United States government should deal with this issue. I will not go into great detail about marketing but wanted to touch on it for a moment because it to is a factor that should be considered in this...

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