Childhood Obesity: A Growing Problem

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Childhood Obesity: A Growing Problem
Obesity is defined as “having excess body fat” according to Webster Dictionary. The amount of children that are obese has reached a record high in the United States. Obesity in childhood years is especially a problem because the problem tends to continue into adulthood (Dehghan). Weight is harder to lose in adult years; therefore if the problem is still there into adulthood, it likely will not end. Statistics show that obese children often have obese parents, meaning the parents probably do not introduce healthy foods or the importance of remaining active to the children. This can cause many health problems for the children who are carrying excess fat. Short-term health risks linked to childhood obesity
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Obesity is caused by an excess amount of calories of energy being taken in and not being burned off through exercise or physical activity. The more often the amount of calories being consumed exceeds the amount of calories being released is how much weight is gained. The recommended time children should remain active per day is one hour per day. However, many children in today’s culture do not get the recommended time, as evidenced by the increase of the percentage of children who are obese went from 7% to 18% and adolescents went from 5% to 21% from the years 1980 to 2012 (CDC). There are many causes to childhood obesity. Besides an excess of calories being consumed versus calories burned; environmental factors contribute as well, such as the lack of places for children to walk or play, such as neighborhood parks or a sidewalk. Parents of children that are obese, however, are warned to focus on the family and not single out the obese child, since it can help the child see the whole family as a support system instead of self-conscious of his/her …show more content…
Despite schools cutting gym classes, unhealthy foods readily and cheaply available to children and adolescents, and the government subsidies being spent on corn products, there is hope for a healthier generation of children and adolescents. The schools can bring back a gym class and introduce the kids to the MyPlate idea to show how much of each food group they should be consuming, Children do not know without being shown, and many unhealthy examples could be shown such as the normal restaurant serving, that they most likely overestimate what a healthy serving size looks like. Banning fast food commercials, such as been done in Sweden would likely be beneficial. Fast food restaurants could also post the nutrition facts of each menu item, instead of the selecting the most nutritious, so parents in particular will know what is being put into their children’s bodies. Neighborhood parks could be added to give children a fun place to be active, and adding sidewalks in neighborhoods could increase the amount of safe places to be active. The youth of the United States needs to be taught that being healthy is not always boring and hard and it can be made fun as

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