Childhood Obesity Essay

2461 words - 10 pages

The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased significantly since the 1980s. This should be a concern for the parents of these children since it has been established that diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancers are undeniably linked to obesity. Many people blame the lack of physical education in the school and the mass media for perpetuating unhealthy lifestyle. We must quit blaming the school system, the media and look closer to home. Mass media is certainly culpable when it comes to propagating the over-indulgent behaviors that have become the prevailing mantra of society. And without question the need for more physical activity in our schools is legitimate but as with ...view middle of the document...

When
healthy foods are the usual choice, and when children see their parents eating these foods, a child has a better chance of eating well and will perceive these foods to be the normal or usual choice. When unhealthy foods are the norm, a child may not learn how to eat well or develop healthy eating habits. Parents are responsible for providing appropriate food choices that meet the energy and nutrients needs of their growing and developing child. In the 50’s, parents were keenly aware of just what their children were eating owning in large part to drive to provide proper nutrition to kids. Parent’s today are more likely to use snacks in an attempt to pacify their children. Chips, fries, and candy are often used to keep kids quiet in public places or offered as a reward for good behavior. Wilkinson states by doing this, “an association is made between eating and feeling good” (2002). This alone has contributed varsity to the weight problem our children are facing.
If a child has unhealthily snacks lying around the house at all times, he or she will more than likely eat them. It is a parent’s job to make sure that a child doesn’t have unlimited snack food access. This is a huge influence on whether of not a child will be obese in the future. It may also be a clue as to why children are overweight at this moment. Also, “Restricting children’s access to forbidden foods also has paradoxical effects on food preference and energy intake. Research reveals that placing a preferred food in sight, but out of reach, decreases children’s ability to exhibit self-control over obtaining the food. As a result, when restriction is lifted, and forbidden foods are present, children often have difficulty controlling the amount of food eaten, resulting in overeating and eating in the absence of hunger.” (Savage,Fisher, and Birch, 2007)
Most adults know that foods that are high in fat or sugar and low in vitamins and minerals should be consumed in moderation, but most children do not. Restricting access to these
types of foods may work in the short-term, but it may negate the long-term goal of developing healthy patterns. As children grow, they need to learn about different foods and how to make good choices. Fisher says," This research does not imply that parents should let children have whatever they want whenever they want it. Structure is as important in child feeding as it is in any other aspect of parenting. Parents should provide children with a variety of nutritious foods and with enough guidance to help their children make reasonable decisions about what and how much to eat." (Savage, Fisher, and Birch, 2007)
Inactivity is another issue that leads to childhood obesity. Children imitate their parents’ core beliefs and life practices. When a parent doesn’t values exercise, then their child won’t likely value exercise? Yesterday’s children were encouraged to play outside. Running, playing sports and simply exploring were apart...

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