What is the relationship between fast food and the increasing rate of childhood obesity in the United States?

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A current controversial issue surrounding our society today is the relationship between fast food restaurants and childhood obesity. Obesity has always been a problem in the United States; however, it has become an even greater problem in recent years. According to the Mayo Clinic, childhood obesity is defined as "when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height" (Disease and Conditions: Childhood Obesity). Nearly 20 percent of children and adolescents are now overweight and the obesity rate among preschool aged children is increasing at an alarming speed (Childhood Obesity Facts). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years" (Childhood Obesity Facts). There are many factors that can result in an increased risk of being overweight. Genetics, lack of physical activity, environment, and, more importantly, an individual's dietary habits are all among factors that can affect a child's risk of obesity. There are many different beliefs in this controversial topic. Some argue that fast food is responsible and that fast food advertisements are targeting children and others argue that fast food restaurants are not responsible what so ever, such as that arguments that it is a child dietary habits surrounding the meals. What is the relationship between fast food and the increasing rate of childhood obesity in the United States?
Many health professionals believe that fast food restaurants are a major factor in increasing childhood obesity in America. Their belief is that advertisements produced by fast food restaurants are targeting children as their audience. Schools are now also contributing to f...

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...children's diet. With the simple reply of "no", they have the power to prevent their children from consuming this food, or at least frequently consuming it, and increasing their risk of obesity at an early age. As they mature and grow older, children also become mature enough to come to their own educated conclusions of the unhealthiness of fast food, it is widely common knowledge, and common sense, that fast food is not a healthy alternative to meals made from home. It is even more well known now due to the increased publicity of health professionals stating the unhealthiness of frequently consuming fast food. It is also common sense that fresh fruits and vegetable are a much healthier alternative for snacking than potato chips and beef jerky. Adolescents should know that making the decision to consume fast food and processed snacks increases their risk of obesity.
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