Childhood Obesity
By: Zach R.
Childhood Obesity
is a growing epidemic in the United States.
In 1966, just 43 years ago, there was a 4-5% childhood obesity rate in America. Now, a staggering 21% of America’s children are obese. This is largely in part to the growing popularity of fast foods and processed food in the last 15 years. Concomitantly, the rate of certain childhood diseases has increased in proportion to the increase in childhood obesity rates. Now that the link between fast foods, processed foods certain childhood diseases and childhood obesity is clear, our country’s parents, educators and government leaders need to examine the problem and address way to change behavior.
This growing epidemic needs proper attention in order to fix the problem.
We now understand that obesity is the likely result of eating food that is high in fat, salt and sugar content, along with a lack of exercise and physical activity. Some of the other factors contributing to this epidemic besides fast food are a family’s socioeconomic status and an after school lifestyle.
First, families with a lower income often do not have the resources to buy expensive healthy foods to cook for their kids. Also, families with a single parent, who likely work long hours, will not always have the time to go and buy healthy foods to cook for their kids. Consequently, they rely on the conveininence of fast foods and already prepared, highly processed foods.
Second, after school, 75% kids in America are either watching TV, on a computer or just resting; shockingly, only 25% of American children are active after school. Clearly, a lack of exercise combined with eating unhealthy foods can and will lead to obesity.

Third, the nation’s public schools are eliminating physical education from their curriculum in efforts to cut costs as state governments cut their budgets for education. Physical activity is crucial to a growing child’s heath and well being, and must be emphasized in our public (and private) schools.

The issue of childhood obesity and its causes needs to be addressed by lawmakers as well as parents and educators. Only this way will our nation’s overall health improve and our children be able to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

The swing