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Obesity In Childhood Essay

1667 words - 7 pages

            Child obesity is a very serious concern. Statistics state that one in every five children are obese. With a statistic so frightening, the question that is being raised is, who is the blame? I believe parents should be held accountable for child obesity because as parents they have the most influence and control over the childhood habits that may result in obesity. Child obesity is preventable if mothers and fathers realize the dramatic effect obesity has on the child and their future in society. Fast paced lives and tough economic times have made of all incomes and backgrounds busier than ever, constantly pressed for time and struggling to meet the demands of work and family ...view middle of the document...

Forcing a child to eat before being allowed to have dessert or leave the dinner table can unknowingly have negative effects on that child’s health. It unknowingly sets the tone of healthy foods as something required or demanded of the parents, turning off any desire for the item, and unhealthy foods a source of reward and appeal. In the same light, “when parents require their children to eat everything on the plate, kids then lose the ability to use their own feelings of hunger and fullness to decide how much to eat (“Childhood Obesity”). This habit can stay with a child for their entire lifespan; instead they should be urged to eat until they are full. Overeating is a top benefactor in the existence of obesity and a hard habit to break especially when it begins at such a tender age. Instead of enforcing serving sizes parents should be enforcing exercise routines and adequate meals. It is not how much is eaten that will make the difference, but of what nutritious value is in the food being consumed.
Most of a child’s meals are prepared at home so how is it that, “children eat only two or three servings of the five recommended vegetables and fruits daily, and one serving is likely to be fried potatoes or potato chips”(“Our Overweight Children”). Parents need to be asking themselves, how are they allowing this to occur? Well to answer this question, a child will only eat what is made available to them so if when they pull open the snack cabinet and are greeted by Dorito chips and packaged brownies then this is what they will eat.  A parent may argue that there are also healthy options available in the house, in which the child chooses to pick between the chips and brownies when in actuality that parent is still at fault. “Parents should promote healthful food choices among toddlers and young children by making a variety of nutritious, low-energy-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, available to them” (“Preventing Childhood Obesity”). Do not put the child in a position where they will be subjected to unhealthy snacking instead, eliminate the bad choices and give them the ultimatum of deciding between an apple and an orange. The book, “Preventing Childhood Obesity” supports the idea that the more a parent exposes their child to healthy food options, the more likely that child will be to eat their fruits and vegetables even without the reinforcement of mom or dad. These habits will stay with the child into adulthood because of such a healthy foundation growing up that limited bad choices. Too often parents are afraid to tell the child no, although they may seem be upset at the time, they will appreciate the authority down the road as healthy adults.
Parents should also be held responsible for child obesity levels because of the activities they allow their children to engage in opposed to physical activity. According to “The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,” children spend an average of seven and a half...

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