Childhood Obesity

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Obesity is a rising concern in society today. The number of obese or overweight children has received more attention as the number has doubled in the last three decades (Hotakainen). As children are becoming more susceptible to life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, society has continued to grow concerned (Oliver). As the number continues to rise, the search for potential causes has begun. While many want to blame the caregivers, they are not the potential problem. Although parents should monitor their children’s weight, they are vulnerable to society’s (power) pressures and demands. The unhealthy school lunches, weak physical education programs, and convincing food advertisements are to blame for the high obesity rate in children today.

The lack of health standards for lunches and other foods in schools are a leading cause of obesity in children. According to studies, children who eat school lunches consume forty more calories each day compared to those who bring their own lunches (Schanzenbach 703). Elizabeth Jackson, a medical doctor at the University of Michigan Health System, reported that children who eat school lunches are over two times more likely to eat fattier foods and more sugary drinks (“Children”). In the past decades, the government has attempted to develop effective lunch programs that limit the intake of unhealthy foods that children eat. The 1995 policy, “School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children,” required school lunches to meet one-third of the recommended number of calories, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals (Schanzenbach 686). Although this policy has been put into place, the government has not enforced it well enough. According to a recent study, only six percent of U.S. schoo...

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Hotakainen, Rob. “Worries Mount over Lack of Physical Education in Schools.” McClatchy Washington DC News Bureau. 08 Jan 2012: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 06 Feb. 2012.

“Children Who Eat School Lunches More Likely to be Overweight.” University of Michigan Health System. American College of Cardiology, 13 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2012.

McLaughlin, Joseph. “Researcher Shows Negative Effects of Advertising on Children.” Inside Fordham. Fordham University, 17 May 2010. Web. 08 Feb. 2012.

Ramstetter, Catherine L., Robert Murray, and Andrew S. Garner. “The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools.” Journal of School Health 80.11 (2010): 517-526. Academic Search Elite. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.

Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore. “Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?.” Journal of Human Resources 44.3 (2009): 684-709. ERIC. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

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