Childhood Obesity And The United States Essay

Childhood Obesity And The United States Essay

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Rural cities in the United States have a few things in common, they have little to no health care facilities, grocery stores, or recreation centers. Local gas stations and fast food restaurants primarily occupy rural areas. These common characteristics make it no surprise that childhood obesity in children ages 2-19 is 25% more likely in rural areas compared to any other communities in the United States.1 Preventing obesity among children is mainly associated with proper eating habits and physical activity, but the child’s environment determines whether or not these behaviors are possible. Many prevention programs tend to leave out environmental influences when they evaluate the causes of childhood obesity. Focusing specifically on the child’s environment can help health professionals take a more effective stand on childhood obesity prevention and treatment for those who live in rural areas.
The rising numbers of childhood obesity has forced the United States to declare this health issue as a top priority, leading to the release of national objectives.2 Objectives that carry the most importance are those that pertain to children who specifically live in rural communities. One point Healthy People 2020 intended to make was to3 raise the number of Americans who have the opportunity to access a supermarket that offers a number of healthy foods that are approved by the Dietary Guidelines for children. When parents are faced with the option to drive an hour to the grocery store, or to drive five minutes through a drive-thru, most are going to pick the second option, especially if transportation is hard to come by. Because the community lacks multiple places to buy healthy foods, the child is limited to the healthy decisions he or sh...


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...specially in rural areas.
While childhood obesity has become a national crisis, there are ways that have been proved to effectively prevent and treat it. The key to fighting obesity starts with examining the child’s environment. Children living in rural areas experience more health and social discrepancies than children living in other areas, placing them at higher risk for obesity. Educating parents, modifying child behaviors, and improving community environments give children the chance to lower their risk of becoming obese. Programs that work to identify these social and individual inconsistencies are very efficient. By acknowledging that rural children are not provided with the resources to participate in healthy behaviors, community nutritionists can implement programs that better their environment and increase their opportunities to live healthy young lives.

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