Problems of Obesity

Problems of Obesity

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When one hears the word obesity thoughts that may come to mind are overweight, big, or even unhealthy. "Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30" (Obesity).
Anyone any age can be obese. The good part is that it is reversible and there are many ways you can not be obese anymore. Obesity can happen to anyone for many reasons and it can be reversed many different ways. More and more Americans are becoming obese every single day. “More than half of Americans are overweight, including at least 1 in 5 children. Nearly one third are obese” (Wooten). It is also becoming more and more popular for children to be obese. Childhood obesity is a serious and common disease that is increasingly becoming more popular. Adults need to be role models toward their children and educate them about obesity. It is only getting worse and more common and it is a very serious disease that has a lot of negative effects that come along with it.
Some parents or people do not understand why or how their children become obese. There are many explanations for this. One can simply be consuming too much food into one’s body.
Today's culture promotes eating habits that contribute to obesity. People may serve large portions and foods that are most readily available instead of choosing foods that are most nutritious. Cooking with butter, chocolate and other high-caloric foods is a normal part of the American diet. Also, food is often used as a reward in this country. Children are treated to sweets for cleaning their room, and the team is taken for pizza or ice cream after the game. Seldom is eating only when hunger is present (What Causes Obesity?).
Also not exercising is an issue. If one does not get any exercise the fatty acids from the food consumed just sits in the stomach and builds up more fat. Parents need to encourage their children to get involved in extracurricular activities. Luckily, schools have Physical Education classes that students take part in. However, some schools don’t require their students to participate in their P.E. classes as much as other schools. For example, one school may require their students to attend P.E. class everyday for a half hour or more, and another school may require a half hour of P.E only twice a week. However, the senate passed a bill this past year that required Florida elementary school students to have 30 minutes of continuous exercise daily (The Associated Press).

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Every school should be doing this; every little bit will make a difference. Also, parents need to know that when their children sit in front of the TV or play video games that is not being active. A parent should have a limit on watching TV or playing video games to make sure their son or daughter is getting active. Adults need to get their kids up and go outside and play around with them. Also getting them involved in any sports is good exercise. This truly is not a difficult thing to do as a parent.
One may also blame society for the increasing amount of people who are obese. The amount of different fast food restaurants in America is outrageous. “Ronald McDonald, the popular and supposedly cute clown that advertises McDonald's happy meals for children is recognized by about 96% of all American school-aged children” (Vanwagner). When one hears that comment is almost disturbing. To find out that children may look up to this character when it has no good value at all is a shame. Ronald McDonald represents basically unhealthiness, which is not a character that parents should want their children to look up to. Some also argue that maybe if there were healthy fast food restaurants it would help decrease the number of obese children and adults in America. However, many fast food restaurants offer healthy food choices to choose from. For example, McDonald’s offers a couple of different salads, a yogurt cup with fruit in it, apple slices with low fat caramel dip, and reduced fat ice cream, just to name a few. Yes, this is helping but it is still not good enough. The numbers of obese children are only growing, more needs to be done.
There are many ways adults can make sure their children do not become obese or even reverse their child’s obesity. Parents are the ones who cook the food and decide what their children eat, so this is where small changes can be made. When going to the grocery store parent’s need to choose their food products wisely. They should buy more fruits and vegetables instead of per se convenience foods that have a lot of fat in it. Also many organic foods are very nutritional for the body and do not contain any preservatives that are bad for the body. Parents should also stay away from sweetened drinks even because there really is no nutritional value to them what so ever. Also parents should limit the times they eat out at restaurant or even go to a fast food restaurant. Doing all of these things would be a good start to changing a child’s health.
Having surgery done to omit a child’s obesity is not very common or recommended. There are way too many risks. That is mainly for adults. Also prescription medication is not really recommended for children because again there are too many risks and there is a possibility of long term risks even. The best thing for a parent to do when they have an obese child or they want to prevent having an obese child is just mainly to have them exercise daily and eat properly. If a parent does these two simple things their child should be in the clear of obesity.
Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra weight the kids put on often starts them on a path to health problems that adults should only have to worry about. It’s a shame to have a child worry about having health conditions in their future because of their weight. If anything it should only have to be adults who need to worry, why would anyone want children to have to worry about health conditions at such a young age. A child may also be genetically predisposed to put on excess weight if he or she comes from a family of overweight people. This means the parents need to work extra harder to prevent their child from being obese or reversing their obesity. Also, “children from low-income backgrounds are at greater risk of becoming obese. Poverty and obesity often go hand in hand because low-income parents may lack the time and resources to make healthy eating and exercise a family priority.” (Mayo Clinic Staff). Some health risks that come along with being obese as a child is asthma, high blood pressure, liver problems, menstrual problems, trouble sleeping, heart disease, and even type 2 diabetes. “A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in three American children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime”(Health Risks of Overweight Children). That is a very scary statistic. Also, “dozens of children as young as six and seven have become so obese that doctors are being forced to put them on ventilators at night to keep them breathing while they sleep”(Templeton). America needs to do something to decrease the number of obese children before it gets worse.
Obesity in children is a very serious problem and should not be taken lightly. Adults need to fulfill their jobs as being parents towards their children and that means being a good role model. They need to teach and show their children how to live a healthy lifestyle so they do not have to worry about having any health conditions now or in the future. Every day the number increases of how many obese children there are. This is a shame. Some adults argue that they should be able to feed their children what they want when they want, and it is their own body so they can look however they want. That should not be an excuse, being obese means having many health risks with it. Why would any parent want to have to worry about their children having so many health risks, it doesn’t make sense. It truly is not that hard to live a healthy lifestyle. It should be a number one priority in many families’ lives. It is important to eat properly and exercise, one’s life could depend on it.
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