Who Is To Blame For Childhood Obesity?

1227 words - 5 pages

Has it become cool to be overweight or is it still something that is frowned upon? Today, more and more children are considered to be obese. A child becomes obese when he weights nearly 20% in excess of what he should weight at a specific age. Childhood obesity has become rampant in the United States of America since it has affected nearly one out of a group of six children. Some would argue that the fast food industry and school lunches are to blame for childhood obesity because each of these offers unhealthy food choices, and children do not have a fair chance of eating healthy. Although the fast food industry and school lunches do contribute to childhood obesity, parents are to be ...view middle of the document...

However, when kids are playing sports or involved in other activities like dance classes, boy scouts/girl scouts, or even therapy, it is often hard to find time to cook a meal because by the time the activities are over, it is already late, and children need to begin getting ready to go to bed; however, it is always easy and convenient to go through a drive through. Planning meals requires time management. For example, a parent may need to put meals on a calendar, or take time on Sundays to prepare meals for the week; whatever the strategy, a parent needs to be intentional about cooking food before the busyness of the week begins. If parents do not set aside the time to plan means, they are teaching their children that cooking is not important and that fast food on a regular basis is acceptable. Jamie Oliver, a chef whose mission is to start a food revolution gives an example of the importance of cooking meals when he describes what has happened to a young girl: “I want to show a picture of my friend Brittany. She's 16 years old. She's got six years to live because of the food that she's eaten. She's the third generation of Americans that hasn't grown up within a food environment where they've been taught to cook at home or in school, or her mom, or her mom's mom. She has six years to live. She's eating her liver to death” (Oliver). Because time was not set aside to cook meals, this very young girl is dying, and her parents’ decisions are killing her. Another example is parents do not always encourage exercise. If parents are busy, they may not be able to play with their children, or some parents think that children get enough exercise at school. Children in the current generation lack enough physical activities since they watch movies and play video games throughout the day. Children are not encouraged to go outside and ride their bikes and run around the neighborhood. Finally, parents may encourage their children to snack. For example, children grow up having a snack time between breakfast and lunch and/or between lunch and dinner. Many times, snack times are not needed. A child may not be hungry at this time, but because they are used to having a snack every day at 3:30, they will eat. The point is if parents do not emphasize the importance of healthy habits, children will continue to be unhealthy.
Not only do parents allow for unhealthy habits, but they do...

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