Overall childhood obesity needs to be taken seriously as there are many parents who are in desperate need of help for their children. Childhood obesity was recognized in 1909 by insurance companies after evaluating their statistics. “Obesity is defined as an abnormal increase of fat in the subcutaneous connective tissue (Kelly 5). This definition is debated among physicians and the most common way people determine whether another person is obese is simply by looking at the person. However, Kelly states that some professionals aren’t accurate when determining if a person suffers from obesity.
Medical costs for a child diagnosed with obesity are on average three time higher than those who are not overweight or obese. If the government forced better eating choices at school by taking out the vending machines and replaced the bad food with good food, children would adapt and make healthier choices. It is not an excuse to say because children would not like it, it should not be an option. In conclusion, childhood obesity is one of the most ignored problems in the U.S. The number of overweight children and adolescents in America has doubled in the last decade.
Now some people are just naturally overweight, but being “overweight” is not the same as being “obese.” Someone who is overweight has reached a maximum weight limit for their height. When someone goes beyond this maximum limit, then they are considered “obese” (Kiess 1). Research shows that “obesity is generally defined as the abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in adipose tissue” (Kiess 1). The increase in childhood obesity today is mainly the fault of the parent because they are unable to tell their children “no” when it comes to junk food (Kiess 104). Parents are the one buying all the food that comes into the house.
When it comes to obesity in the United States, many fail to acknowledge its presence. The new generation is increasingly falling into the hands of obesity; many don’t even realize it until they experience changes in their health. It is known for a fact that the Unites States has the greatest obese population in the world. According to current statistics, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past thirty years (“Parents Blamed for Childhood Obesity,” 2009). Although many parents admit that their children are obese, others fail to accept that this is an epidemic that should be controlled and given their immediate attention (Green & Reese, 2006).
Although the fast food industry is a largely linked to the growth of child obesity, they can not solely take the blame. A child is ten times more likely to become obese if his or her parent is obese. This is due to a combination of genetic factors and social environment the child has been accustomed to. Parents have the responsibility to teach their children that it’s not ok to eat fast food regularly. After all, the parents are the ones who buy the fast food for their children and drive the family to the restaurants.
Childhood obesity is a serious problem among American children. Some doctors are even calling childhood obesity an epidemic because of the large percentage of children being diagnosed each year as either overweight or obese. “According to DASH sixteen to thirty-three percent of American children each year is being told they are obese.” (Childhood Obesity) There is only a small percentage, approximately one percent, of those children who are obese due to physical or health related issues; although, a condition that is this serious, like obesity, could have been prevented. With close monitoring and choosing a healthier lifestyle there would be no reason to have such a high obesity rate in the United States (Caryn). Unfortunately, for these children that are now considered to be obese, they could possibly be facing some serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers.
The childhood obesity epidemic is a serious public health problem that increases morbidity, morality, and has substantial long-term economic and social costs (opposing viewpoints). Approximately 20% of our youth are now overweight with obesity rates in preschool age children increasing at alarming speed (opposing viewpoints). U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona said, “obesity is the fastest-growing cause of illness and death in the United States.” When I read this I was shocked. This is something that can change, but its up to ourselves to make that commitment.
Childhood obesity is a serious and common disease that is becoming more and more popular for children to be obese. I will make some clarifications on these issues and give some reasoning behind it. In the United States, more than one-third of adolescents are overweight or obese (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), (National Center for Health Statistics. (2010)). Obesity is classified by an excess amount of fat and a weight 20 percent above normal bodyweight (National Center for Obesity at a young age can be very dangerous (2010).
People tend to blame socioeconomic factors and the mass media for their children’s weight problems. However, unhealthy family eating habits and a lack of family involvement in physical activity are major reasons for obesity in young children today. Although people will argue that a child’s diet and lack of exercise are the leading causes for obesity in children, some people believe that obesity in children is caused by socioeconomic factors. People insist that they are living in an environment that does not encourage healthy eating. This statement can true because fast food restaurants are more convenient and less expensive opposed to buying fruits and vegetables.
Whereas some are convinced that the government and the food industry are to blame, others maintain that parents are primarily bearing this burden. The people who believe the government and the food industry are to blame are consistently at odds over the issue of who is to blame for the long-term affects from childhood obesity with the people who tend to believe parents are to blame. Medical conditions are becoming more and more frequent, childhood obesity is becoming a growing problem and until recently, the government has not aided in the fight against obesity. However, there is more at stake here than what these two groups ultimately believe to be true. The percentage of obese children in the United States has risen from 5% in 1980 to almost 20% in 2012.