Preventing Childhood Obesity
Providing children with the most sustainable nutrients is the key to maintain a healthy weight and/or lifestyle. Todays youth is lacking the specific nutrients that are needed for proper body function. This is caused mainly by advertisements of so called “healthy foods”; however, these foods are far from healthy. Childhood obesity is becoming a substantial problem in not only the United States but worldwide. It is important to know how to cope with obesity so we can prevent our kids from becoming obese. Schools need to promote quality meal plans. It is important for schools to offer their students healthy and appealing foods outside of the meal plans too. As parents it is important that they serve their children plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with physical activity on a daily basis.
The topic of childhood obesity is really close to my heart. Growing up I was not in shape. I was overweight, and I loved eating food and playing video games. I played football which helped me some but it wasn’t enough to counter my bagel bite addiction. Luckily, I figured out how to fix it before it was too late and I was able to change my life around and live a healthier lifestyle. I know it’s possible to live a healthy lifestyle and I want today and tomorrows youth to realize that. I want them to catch their problem like I did, before it’s too late.
Obesity is something that is continuing to grow in America and also worldwide. We need to understand how to keep ourselves and today’s children from getting to the point of obesity; therefore, we need to understand what causes it. It is important to know how to prevent this by maintaining a healthier lifestyle through our diets and physical exercise. It is crucial for schools and parents to maintain this healthy lifestyle so their children will follow and live the healthiest life style possible.
The article by BMC Public Health, states what is linking to the rise of todays youth obesity. This is caused by the poor nutrition choices we parents and schools are providing for the youth of today’s society. Conversely, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer us advice on how we might prevent obesity. Limiting the amount of television and video game time for our youth is a great start. The American Heart Association article, “Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents and Caretakers”, offers advice similar to the article by “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”; however, The American Heart Association recommends not cutting out sugary items completely, but consuming them in moderation. This will help with staying on track and not giving in which may lead to binge eating. Conversely, the article by The Atlantic, “Should Schools Be Responsible for Childhood Obesity Prevention”, proves to us that no matter how hard the schools try to make their food more appealing and/or healthier, they cannot limit what the kids are bringing in their lunchboxes.
The fact that adults are not modeling the behavior goes to show that childhood obesity is not the only problem. Adulthood obesity is just as much of a problem as childhood obesity. The whole goal of this is to prevent children from being obese in the future, that will be hard to achieve if their parents are not practicing what they are preaching.
Benjamin, Sara E, et al. “Obesity Prevention In Child Care: A Review Of U.S. State
Regulations.” BMC Public Health 8.(2008): 188-197. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
According to the article by BMC Public Health, rates of obesity continue to rise from previous years all over the United States of America and abroad (Benjamin). Some obesity links are due to the genetics of their family, but for the most part it is due to the poor nutrition that the parents and children pick. Food or drink items that contain an excessive amount of sugar and high fructose corn syrup contribute to the development of obesity in these young children (Benjamin). In this article it is mentioned that television plays a major role when leading to childhood obesity (Benjamin). The decline of physical activity among children is substantially increasing due to the screen time of television, video games, or a computer. To help cope with the problem of childhood obesity, child care facilities help promote nutrition and physical exercise (Benjamin). United States regulations for prevention of obese children are freely available. Water, limited sugar sweetened beverages, limited foods with low nutritional value, no forcing any child to eat, a reward of food is not given, support is provided for breastfeeding, screen time is limited, and physical activity is required daily (Benjamin).
“Childhood Obesity Causes & Consequences.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 June 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
To understand how to truly prevent childhood obesity we need to know what causes it. Obesity occurs when a person is well above the weight he/she should be for their age and weight. On the website, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, maintaining a healthy diet includes consuming plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low fat, fat free dairy products, and drinking plenty of water (CDC). The importance of this nutrition is very important, but the importance of at least sixty minutes a day of physical activity is just as important. Weight gain is prevented by exercising and knowing how much one consumes in a day (CDC). If one consumes more calories than he/she burn in a day, he/she will gain weight. It is important to get your kids out of the house and do some physical exercise so they can burn more calories than they consume in a day. There are multiple reasons for childhood obesity. The website, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show these as the leading causations: advertisement of unhealthy food choices, unlicensed child care facilities, unsafe community for the children to go out and play, unaffordable healthy foods, high availability for sugary foods and sweetened beverages, greater portion sizes, and lack of breastfeeding support (CDC). There are multiple health risk that obesity will cause to your children now and in the future. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
“Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents and Caretakers.”
Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents and Caretakers. American Heart Association, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
The American Heart Association has many tips that can help teach you how to prevent or help your children from becoming obese. First and foremost, it is important to help your children to maintain healthier eating habits. The American Heart Association is not saying to completely cut out sugary items, they recommend consuming them in moderation (AHA). If one goes from eating straight junk food to healthier option foods it will be hard to maintain that lifestyle. To keep oneself sane, it is okay to eat some sugary items until you get to the point where the desire is not there anymore. A Major tip that the American Heart Association gives for not maintain obesity is to make your favorite household dishes healthier (AHA). It is important for parents to explain to their kids about the health benefits of being physically active can provide them with (AHA). Parents need to encourage their kids to get out and play when it is not homework time. It is okay for the parents to get out there and run around as well to practice what they are trying to preach.
“Should Schools Be Responsible for Childhood Obesity Prevention.”
The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
Many people believe that the schools play a major role in preventing childhood obesity; however, schools cannot ban what children bring in their lunchbox from home. In the article, “Should Schools Be Responsible For Childhood Obesity Prevention?”, states that childhood obesity is triple of what it was thirty years ago (AMC). It seems as if parents aren’t teaching their kids the bad side effects of junk food. The kids just look at the food as tasty and they crave that sweetness. The sugary ingredients in these foods cause these kids to enjoy even though their bodies aren’t enjoying it like their taste buds are. The American Medical Association has now brought it to attention that students in grades one through twelve should be taught the dangers of obesity (AMC). Obesity not only leads to bad health but it can also lead to bad grades. Studies have shown that children who are obese tend to score lower on tests than students who are not obese (AMC). These students are less likely not to enroll into a college as well (AMC). Around some schools in the nation was a law passed that banned junk food from students vending machines. However, in the faculties break room vending machine, the sugary candy and sodas were not replaced.