Obesity in America among Children

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Throughout the past few years children in the United States of America have been gaining an excess amount of weight classifying them to be obese or overweight. Many factors contribute to childhood obesity, including: genetics, metabolism. community and neighborhood design and safety, short sleep duration, eating and physical activity behaviors. (CDC) Most of these factors can be controlled or at least monitored, but the parents of the children effected by child hood obesity should be the ones making those choices.

From a young age, children are heavily influenced on others and their surroundings, so it would be a great idea to take that into account when a child is born. Obesity is an epidemic that the world has been trying to solve, some of the ways we can do this is by, watching what children do in their adolescent years, making sure every child get outside for a minimum of sixty minutes a day or at least four days a week, and enforcing a bed time that is not late and allows children to get eight to ten hours of sleep.

While a child is growing up it is vital to have a safe neighborhood for the child to grow up and live out their childhood years. According to a study by skinners colleagues and the CDCs data, Young children also had at least twice the odds of obesity when they were poor. (Rapaport) If a child is an unsafe neighborhood it is safe to assume that the parents would not want their child to be outside, thus leading to a cause of obesity. The alternative to staying inside all day is sitting in front of a screen. In the same study by skinners colleagues they found, kids who were severely obese also had twice the odds of spending four or more hours a day in front of screens, compared to non-obese children. (Rapaport) While children are sitting in front of a screen, they will most likely be eating junk food.

Parents should want to raise their children with good habits. Eating healthy should be one of those habits and eating healthy involves an active life style. Children should be outside playing and running around, burning off all the food and calories they are getting. Schools must take part in this as well or else nothing will happen, due to children being in class all day for half a year.

Dr. David Ludwig says, “We need a comprehensive national strategy to combat the obesity epidemic, focused on improving the food supply, adequately funding school lunches, reserving time for PE in school, and protecting children from manipulative food ads,”. (Rapaport) If schools implement 60 minutes a day to exercise and make the school lunches healthier and cheaper, it will help the children who do and do not have money to buy lunch.

Children should be kept on a sleep schedule that allows them to get plenty of rest. According to a study by researchers from the University of Illinois, Kids that got less than 7 hours of sleep were 3 times more likely to be overweight. (Osmun) This cause of obesity can be avoided quite easily, just put the child to bed at an appropriate time so he or she can get enough sleep. The reason why sleep causes obesity is because while the child is asleep the body is not producing a hormone called ghrelin. (Bilich)

Ghrelin is what causes a person to want to eat and when a child is awake the body keeps producing that hormone, thus causing the child to want to eat more. Parents sleep schedule can also play a role in childhood obesity. According to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, kids of parents who get less than 7 hours of sleep were 1.3 times more likely to be overweight. (Osmun) The reason behind this is, if a parent is behind, they will tend to either drive through a restaurant and order unhealthy foods or not encourage their kids to go outside because they are too tried to go out and exercise with them. All of which are some of the leading factors in childhood obesity.

There are some things that cannot or are hard to change if a child has obesity. One of these factors is genetics. The researchers noted that each child’s BMI (Body Mass Index)was linked to about a 20 percent “contribution” from mom and a similar contribution from dad. (Healthcorps) If a child has high body fat then that child will have a harder time to lose or not gain more weight. The parents are most likely going to be obese or overweight, so their eating and exercise habits are most likely not going to be the correct habits. Their child will live by these habits only to gain more weight and make it even harder to try and be healthy.

Another issue that can make it difficult to live healthy is money. If a family is poor they will most likely not be living in a safe neighborhood, eating healthy, exercising for at least 60 minutes a day, or watching their child as much as should. A study by Harvard has shown that on average, a day’s worth of the most healthy diet patterns cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy ones. (Harvard) $1.50 a day does not sound like a lot of money but when $1.50 gets multiplied by 365 that ends up costing and extra $547.50 a year. To the average family that makes an average income that is do able, but for the families that are working more than one job that is not so do able. The families that are poor tend to buy junk food for the convenience and price.

Besides genetics and economical standing in life, these factors can be fixed or at least reduced. Childhood Obesity is not going to go away anytime soon if people do not wake up and realize, that our children are getting more and more unhealthy every generation. Children should not be allowed to just go through life doing whatever they want because children do not know any better, they must be taught on what is right and what is wrong. Parents and schools should re-assume the role of making the correct decisions, even if it is hard, they must look down the road as to what may happen.

Cite this paper

Obesity in America among Children. (2021, Feb 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/obesity-in-america-among-children/

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