Childhood Obesity : The Most Serious Health Affliction For American Youth

Childhood Obesity : The Most Serious Health Affliction For American Youth

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Problem Statement
Specified as the “biggest problem” for children, childhood obesity serves as the most serious health affliction for American youth (C.S. Mott 2015). Within the state of NJ itself, 24.7% of children aged 10-17 are overweight or obese (NJ Health 2013). This can be attributed to a few root causes such as living in an impoverished area with a lack of grocery stores and a very limited amount of fresh, affordable produce (CSSP 2011). Therefore the state needs to focus on bringing healthy, low-cost produce to local and school communities so that children can obtain healthy foods in the environments they spend most of their time in. Without any immediate action, the quality of life for children will only decrease as the consequences pile up.
Consequences of Childhood Obesity
Being very closely associated with many other chronic conditions, the condition of childhood obesity increases the risk of attaining other illnesses. For example, CDC research dictates that obese youth are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, bone/joint problems and mental illnesses. As they age, obese children will also tend to be obese as adults and encounter adult health problems such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis (CDC 2012). Childhood obesity doesn’t just negatively impact the present and future health of children, but it also has a significant effect on the economy. Currently, officials have expected that NJ will spend $9.3 billion dollars for obesity-related healthcare by 2018 which is an absurd amount of money (NJ Health 2013). Childhood obesity causes financial and health setbacks that are simply too grievous on the youth and economy to be left alone, and reducing its prevalence should be a priority.

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...arrying capacity for healthy foods. This would reduce the area of food deserts and make fresh, healthy food more accessible, and it is certainly more feasible than the creation of new retail groceries within impoverished areas. Ms. Obozintsev also revealed that research indicated that even in the face of new grocery stores, individuals in impoverished areas have shown to still selectively shop at corner stores in bodegas due to habit. Since this is somewhat similar to Shaping NJ’s strategies, it is very likely that this option would be effective and even more cost-effective against childhood obesity since families would be able to supply their children with healthy foods. However, some concerns that are present with this option are how the use of funding will be monitored, whether the foods will be affordable, and whether specific corner stores or all will be funded.

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