Childhood Obesity

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Do you get enough exercise? Are you sure about that? Or how about this, are you overweight, do you even know? Today’s adolescents don’t. In fact today’s adolescents face serious risk from their lack of activity. Today’s children are obese because they have developed some very bad habits related to healthy living and as result can suffer serious physical and psychological damage.

Perhaps the most damaging health habit kids today have is their complete and total lack of exercise. Children today are more inclined to a sedentary behavior. Movies, television, the Internet, etc. are all magnets for kids, and while these mediums of entertainment aren’t altogether “evil” they can breed docile attitudes. If too much time is spent watching television or playing video games a child becomes less likely to go outside and get some physical activity. However television and computers aren’t the only cause. When children aren’t at home they spend most of their remaining time at school, so it seems natural that schools would also take a proactive role in trying to teach healthy exercise habits. (Koplan) Yet in 2012 only a little more than half of all the high school students in the US were enrolled in a physical education class and only about 26% had a daily gym class. As well, only slightly more than half of all students also participated in an extracurricular sport. Schools need to work to promote healthy exercise habits and (with the help of local communities) be able to provide the necessary equipment to help adolescents get a healthy amount of physical activity. (American Obesity Association)

Lack of exercise isn’t the root cause of childhood obesity however it is, in fact, only half of the cause. The other cause is the consumption of high calorie foods. Adolescents today consume many high sugar, high calorie, low nutrition snacks. In many cases these snacks are used as rewards and/or a replacement for a normal meal. These practices foster bad eating habits. Instead, if children replaced the “junk food” they eat with foods that are low calorie and have a good nutritional value their risk of becoming obese would be greatly diminished.

Together this lack of exercise and tendency to snack is the root cause of childhood obesity. In 1999 nearly 13% of children (ages 6 to 11) and 14% of adolescents (ages 12 to 19) were considered overweight. These figures have tripled...

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...r causes that can lead people to be depressed. The loss of a loved one, being laid off from a job, almost anything can cause depression in a person. These causes are just as important as childhood obesity, but for the purpose of this argument the effect of obesity on an individual’s perception of themselves and how society treats them is the primary cause of their depression.

Children today may be at greater risk than they themselves realize. If their negative habits aren’t addressed today it can lead to serious hardships later on in their life. Obese children’s bad health habits could ultimately lead to some serious physical and psychological disorders that can seriously lower their quality of life.

Works Cited

Childhood Obesity. 2 May 2014. American Obesity Association. 20 Oct. 2014 .

Koplan, Jeffrey. Preventing childhood obesity : health in the balance . Washington D.C: National Academies Press, 2005.

The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. US Department of Health and Human Services. 19 Oct. 2014 .

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