Childhood Obesity Epidemic

March 3rd, 2011 by admin

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In February, the First Lady Michelle Obama announced that she was championing a new program, called “Let’s Move” to fight childhood obesity. Her nationwide campaign is noble, but she is going to need the help of parents, teachers, and the medical community.

In the last 30 years, the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased by over 13%. This not only puts a strain on the children, both physically and mentally, but it is also putting a strain on the medical community, resulting in a higher demand for medical assistants. The increase in health care costs has increased by about 30% for overweight individuals, thus increasing the cost for all citizens.

The physical consequences for children that are obese are astronomical. They are more susceptible to cardiovascular risks, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, gall bladder disease, incontinence, and depression. These are but a small number of the problems that obese children face. There have been reports released by the Surgeon General’s office that claim roughly 300,000 people die each year in part due to obesity.

Although the government has implemented a new food guide pyramid, it fails to show a portion size of each recommended food type. This often leads to overeating, and thus obesity. There is however, a food pyramid for children, that has tips on how much to eat, and various physical activity ideas.

Many schools have cut back on their children’s physical education curriculum or eliminated recesses. This is unfortunate, but it is imperative that parents understand that it is their responsibility to take control of their children’s nutrition and activity levels. There are many things that we can do to help our society in its battle against obesity. Parents can make sure that their children’s school is serving nutritious meals, and perhaps enrolling them in an after school program that promotes healthy eating and more activity. Even if you do not have children, this issue is of great importance to everyone in the country. The problem of childhood obesity will only increase if we do not step up and implement more nutrition and activity into our lives. Children who are obese will likely grow up to be adults that are obese. It is important that we all take a stand against this terrible epidemic.

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Childhood Obesity Epidemic”

  1. Asim Saeed Says:

    Fantastic article! Do you have a Facebook?

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