Childhood obesity is a serious health and societal issue. Rising at extreme rates, one may call it an epidemic. Childhood obesity increases incidences of mortality later in life, causes asthma and type II diabetes, which was only found in adults. With these ill effects, childhood obesity is an issue that should not be taken lightly. Over the last fifteen years, obesity in children has increased fifty percent. While the cause of this is equivocal, and heredity may play a role, there are some contributing factors. The media, parents/caregivers, and schools are major influences which are, to some extent, responsible for this astounding inclination of obesity among children.
In this paragraph I will be discussing three of the contributing factors to obesity in children, media, parents, and schools. Though parents should not allow the television to become their babysitter, some often do. Children, who are the most profitable sector in the media, are dragged into the unmerciful pull of the media. There are countless television programs and stations for children of all ages. With this wide variety, children are able to spend hours watching television which requires no physical activity, so children rarely, if ever participate in any physical activities outside of the school setting. This leads to inactivity which consequently, may lead to obesity. The media also contributes to obesity in children because of their junk food advertisements. During these programs, many food ads entice the children causing impulse eating. With the inactivity and impulse eating, children are more susceptible to become obese. To counteract the affects of the media, children need guidance from their parents. Parents have a major influence on the well-being of their child.
They can contribute to the possibility of obesity affecting their child by cooking and buying unhealthy food and permitting too much time watching television. If both parents work, it is often difficult to plan a well balanced diet for the child. Therefore, they may resort to cooking microwave dinners and buying unhealthy snacks for their child. There are numerous things parents can do to enable the health of their child. They can pack healthy lunches for school, cook foods with low cholesterol and trans-fatty acids, and enroll their children in sports and physical activities. Since parents can’t have a constant eye on their children, they should encourage them to make wise decisions about food. This will become useful for school-aged children. A major part of a child’s day is spent at school.
While the main focus should be on education, administrators should ensure that there is a healthy food selection for the children. In most schools, there are vending machines which consist of very unhealthy foods such as soda, chocolate, and chips. In the cafeterias, the menu includes French fries and burgers. With this kind of selection, it is very difficult for a child to eat healthy. School cafeterias should offer more beneficial foods such as salads and sandwiches to cater to the health of the students. Along with getting healthier food, administrators should also have weight training in their gym classes. Students should also be taught more about fats and cholesterol and how to avoid them.
My counter argument to this essay is that, too many parents think its okay or cute that their kids are fat. A lot don’t care about what they feed their children and the impact it has on the child. TV is watched way too much by children these days. Kids don’t get out of the house and play and exercise like they should. So all the calories they are eating is just backing up in them. Schools sometimes feed the kids bigger portions than needed, and allow kids to overeat. All of them need to understand what they are causing for these kids and the damage they are doing. Reasonable portions need to be made by schools, and parents need to be more active with the kids, and put their foot down about not watching a lot of tv, as wll as them fixing healthy and nutritious meals.
Works Cited (Annotated )
-Stein, Rob. “Report Urges Nationwide Campaign to Combat Childhood Obesity.” The Washington Post. 1 October 2004: Pg. A16
This article stresses ways to prevent children from becoming obese. Stein refers to the National Academy of Sciences’ report about recommendations for preventing childhood obesity. It mentions how parents, doctors, media, schools, and even government need to asses the situation. It states how doctors should measure children’s Body Mass Index (B.M.I) more often, and how parents should regulate their child’s eating habits and increase daily activity.
The article also covers how media should decrease the marketing of junk food, and schools’ food systems could be changed for the better by introducing healthy foods. After this report was sent out, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy came up with a bill that “would, for example, ban vending machines selling unhealthful food or drink in schools receiving federal funds.” Stein reports how the recommendations generally went well with the public and other anti-obesity advocates. There were some concerns and disagreements with the report from the National Food Processors Association and a few professors. -“The Surgeon General’s Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity.”United States Department of Health and Human Services.
http:// www.surgeongeneral .gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_adolescents.htm
This report mentions the risks of being obese, including heart disease, diabetes, and even social discrimination. It states the causes of obesity as well, for example, little to no physical activity and unhealthy eating habits. They give suggestions to parents and kids on what to do if they are in this situation. It states that families should gradually change their eating habits and physical activity for a more healthy and balanced future. It suggests reducing the amount of time sitting in front of the TV, and increase the amount of physical activity. In regards to eating healthy, it suggests following the Dietary Guidelines, and not to use food as punishment or rewards. The report also gives suggestions like not to eat in front of the TV, and to make sure you start your day with a healthy breakfast, etc. It explains how weight loss may be gradual, and to avoid crash dieting and diet pills. It also suggests consulting a doctor for weight management. This report is highly credible considering that it came from the official website of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This formal source is also necessary for my paper because it gets right to the point about prevention of obesity. -Torg, Elizabeth. “Cute and Chubby or Dangerously Overweight?: Stop early signs before Kids gain too much weight.” http://www.prevention.com/article/0,5778,s1-6-73- 164-3372-1,00.html.
This article is bringing attention to people by showing how parents and pediatricians don’t recognize that kids are gaining too much weight very early on in their childhood. Torg uses studies by University of Michigan to show how children don’t get their Body Mass Index (B.M.I) checked as often as they should. The article closes by demonstrating how one could measure their children’s B.M.I, figuring out if it’s healthy, and then visiting a doctor. This article is a great source for my paper, because it’s talking directly to the reader about how to prevent obesity before it starts.