The Problem Of Obesity In Children

1961 words - 8 pages

The lack of physical activity in children is a growing problem due to the percentage of kids who are affected by obesity, the sugary food diets, and the lack of participation in physical activity; however, children who are physically active tend to have better health, an easier time learning, and have a higher self confidence.
Obesity is determined by a formula called BMI and is calculated by dividing body weight by height squared. Childhood obesity is a BMI at or above twenty-five ("Combatting Childhood Obesity"). One in five children in the United States are overweight based on this measure; which is one-third of children age two to nineteen ("Documentary: Way Beyond Weight" ). There are many reasons why children in this country have obesity issues or are overweight.
The causes of obesity range from genetic factors to proper diet and exercise. Children can inherit certain weight problems from genetic factors and parents are a child’s first example of healthy lifestyle habits ("Preventing Obesity in Children, Causes of Child Obesity, and More." ). In a recent study of two hundred and fifty six children, Dr. Tucker, a professor and director of health promotion at Brigham Young University, found that “kids whose parents are more physically fit were themselves in better shape.” (Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education). Children have unhealthy eating patterns, medical conditions, and a lack of physical activity. Children are hooked on sugary drinks and fast food. Fast food restaurants appeal to children with cute toys advertising super sized meal choices and sweet fruit drinks or sodas. Commercials urge children to eat junk food, which are cheaper and easier to access; toy advertisements and movie characters are used to lure kids to eat unhealthy food ("Documentary: Way Beyond Weight" ).
Another cause of obesity is that the average child spends four hours a day watching television; playing video games and using computers or other devices increases that amount of time ("How Parents Can Encourage Their Kids to Be Physically Active"). Dr. Tucker also states “parents are important role models, if parents are watching television they are not setting a good example. With kids spending more time in front of televisions and computers, being a good role model is more important than ever.” (Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education). Children are not spending time outside being physically active due to the amount of increased technology, on going access to television, and less supervision due to more parent work hours. Kids, like adults use technology and television to unwind, however children need about an hour of physical activity each day to stay healthy. With parent work hours longer, children have to make their own food choices and heavily processed foods are cheaper and easier for children to prepare for themselves (US News).
Although in current society, fast food, cheap and easy meals,...

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