Childhood Obesity in America
GEN 499: General Education Capstone
Instructor: CT Rowley
May 21, 2012
Childhood Obesity in America
There is a growing concern for children in America and obesity. With today’s generation of processed foods, fast food, and technology that keeps kids from being physically active we are seeing an increase of children who are overweight or obese. As a parent of a child who is on the edge of becoming overweight, I have decided to reach this epidemic and find the root of the problem and hopefully a solution. Let’s first look into how we have come to this problem with our children and then we will look at some solutions and ideas to help our ...view middle of the document...
Let’s face it when we are grocery shopping and your kid is screaming for some sort of snack with their favorite cartoon character on it you are probably going to just say yes to quiet them and you can get on with your shopping in peace. The advertisements aired during your child’s television programs also make these unhealthy snacks appealing and tempting.
While we are on the topic of children’s television, can you believe all the channels dedicated to children that air 24 hours a day? When I was growing up we had PBS in the morning, a few cartoons on after school and Saturday morning cartoons. When these shows were not on television we were outside playing. Children need to be using their imagination and being creative instead of sitting in front of the television all day.
Computers and video games are also guilty of keeping our kids inactive and not getting enough physical activity. With the technology today games on the computer and through game consoles are so much fun that kids rather live in the virtual world rather than reality. Back in the day you could only take so much playing Pong before it got old, but now games have missions to complete and internet connection so you can play against people across the world. This is the area I believe my own son has fallen victim to this trap of rather playing video games than going outside to play with his friends.
So I bet you are wondering how we can reverse this epidemic when there is all this temptation out there to lure children to lead unhealthy lifestyles. First off you can lead by example. If you are always plopped in front of the television or your computer you should unplug for awhile and suggest something active you all can do as a family. Going on a walk, bike ride or even just passing the Frisbee back and forth is a great form of exercise and also is great family bonding time.
Second, you are the parent and you are ultimately buying the food that comes into the house or that is ordered while eating out. Cut out the junk food and buy only healthier options and there will be no option to reach for that cookie. I am sure your child will resist at first but when they get hungry enough that piece of fruit in the basket will sure start to look appealing. In our house we have ice cream once a week. I used to have ice cream every night after dinner and the pounds were piling on fast. The whole family looks forward to Friday night when we get to splurge on yummy ice cream. There is no reason that sweets in moderation should be outlawed because once a week is not going to make you fat and also denying yourself is only going to lead to binge eating. When ordering out ask your children what they would like to eat. It just makes common sense to help your child make smarter choices when ordering rather than letting order the double whopper with bacon when they are only 11 years old.
Third, if your child’s weight is really a concern for you then you might want to set up an appointment...