Childhood obesity has become a serious problem in the United States. Obesity is a far greater threat to children than in the past. Obesity can be a factor in many physical and psychological disorders in children. Overweight children will become overweight as adults if they do not develop better eating and exercise habits. Over the past years, childhood obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate because of improved technology, poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled over the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years who were obese in 1980 was 7% and by 2012 it had grown to 18%. More than one third of children and teens were overweight or obese in 2012 (“Childhood Obesity”). These are alarming statistics and everything possible should be done to get this problem under control before it gets any worse. According to Stacey Singer, a Palm Beach Post staff writer, Americans ate 17.5 pounds of cheese per person in 1980. By 2007, we were eating 33 pounds of cheese per person. Americans ate 56 pounds of fat per year per person in 1980 and in 2007, that figure had grown to 85 pounds of fat per person per year. Americans consumed 19 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per person in 1980, and in 2007 were consuming 56 pounds per person (Singer). Each and every year the cost of putting young children under the age of 18 into hospitals are reaching all-time highs. The cost from the late 70’s into the early 80’s was around 35 million, and the late 90’s increased to around 130 million per year for the United States (Halting). Researchers have now determined that the medical costs are now at $19,000 per child. When you factor in the number of 10 year-olds that are obese, the lifetime medical costs reach about $14 billion ( Sifferlin).
Many factors contribute to becoming overweight. Lifestyle habits, poor eating habits, genetics, lack of exercise or a combination may contribute. Children of all ages are constantly on some type of technology device no matter what time of day it is. The average 8-10 year old spends eight hours a day watching television, while the average teenager can spend as many as eleven hours a day watching television. Many children spend more time watching television or on the computer than they spend sleeping or going to school (“Do Your Kids”). This is an incredibly high number and consideration should be taken on how kids under the age of 18 should be using their time and how unhealthy and obese they are becoming.
Television is a big reason why kids are becoming more overweight. It is being more acceptable for parents to place televisions into their children’s rooms so they can have a private space. This is giving kids more of an excuse to be lazy and not even leave their room for multiple hours each and every day. According to the Obesity and Overweight for Professionals on the CDC,...