Visit any public park or any school playground and you are sure to find young children that are above the national recommended weight for their ages. These children range from being overweight to being obese. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health and is defined by body mass index (BMI). In the United States, the rate of childhood obesity has been on a high rise over the past few decades. Obesity is a growing epidemic that has lasting, economical strain, psychological effects, contributes to major health issues because of, a lack of physical activities and education.
What is causing this plague on your future leaders, teachers, lawyers and blue collar workers? Multiple factors are related to the commonness of obesity. One factor of the problem may be that people are rushing into everyday life and taking a less traditional way of eating. Fifty years ago, it was customary that families ate dinner at home. The family would sit around the dinner table and eat a well-balanced meal, commonly consisting of locally grown vegetables and meats. Whereas today’s families are more likely to purchase dinner from a drive through window. David Schardt wrote an article titled “It was 40 Years Ago Today…” in his article he states “In the early 1970s, Americans spent a third of their food dollars on meals prepared outside the home. Today, eating out eats up half of our food money. While convenient, the shift has left its mark on the national waistline.” Eating out may be convenient and less stressful, however the long term effect will last long after the meal is gone.
Money is a whopping part of the reason it may be so hard for families ...
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... McDonalds and other fast food chains need to continue to incorporate healthier choices into their menus that have a reasonable cost. Parents and caretakers need to enforce and/or set limits on the amount of time spent in front of a screen. Children should not be given excess amounts of wasteful calories and sugars, instead they should be encouraged to eat a variety of healthy snacks, like vegetables and fruits and less goldfish crackers and graham crackers shaped like bears. Schools should be required to provide physical actives every day for children of all ages along with healthy breakfast and lunches. All adults should be held accountable for this needless outbreak. Kids learn from what they see, if they see adult’s making healthier food choices and participating in more physical activates they are sure to follow. To change tomorrow, we must start with today.
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