Essay Who are the Ones Responsible for Childhood Obesity

Essay Who are the Ones Responsible for Childhood Obesity

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Twenty-four years ago, obesity was not as prevalent as it is today. The rate of obesity in America in 1990 was twelve percent (Obesity in America); the average rate for obesity in 2013 was about twenty-seven percent (Sharpe). Also, in the past thirty years, more than double of children in America have become obese, and the obesity rate in adolescents has tripled (Adolescent and School Health). Often, when children become obese during their childhood, they carry that weight on through their adult years. Sixty-five percent of children that are obese will remain obese in their adult years (Obese Parents Influence Children’s Weight). As the obesity epidemic rages on in America today, many people place the blame of childhood obesity on the children themselves; they believe that children are consuming too much fast food and junk food, that they do not get enough exercise, and that they are simply too lazy to exercise, causing them to become overweight. Recently, researchers have started to hypothesize a completely contradicting theory: parents are the ones responsible for childhood obesity.
With over 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in America as of June 2012 (Rosenberg), it is not surprising that the first common belief of childhood obesity is that it is caused by fast food. According to Katie Bogue, Americans will eat fast food about four to five times per week. Lincoln University of Missouri Cooperative Extension said that an average meal at a fast food restaurant contains about 1,200 calories (Berg). With large portion sizes and food with poor nutritional value, fast food restaurants receive the worst criticism for the childhood obesity epidemic. Although fast food is not a choice that is particularly good for a child, it does not hav...

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... in maintaining a healthy weight.
While common beliefs still dictate the mindset of many Americans today, the most important factor in trying to prevent childhood obesity is how the parent decides to raise their child. J.F. Wilkinson mentions that a parent should be like a model for their children. Children watch what their parents do, and they want to perform the same tasks. As a young child, eating habits are established based upon how the parents are eating. Parents should show their children what they should and should not be eating, how to eat in moderation, and how to live a healthy lifestyle. If a parent is constantly eating junk food and watching television, a child will most likely follow in suit. However, if a parent eats healthy, takes the initiative to exercise, and shows interest in their health and well-being, children will try to be healthy as well.

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