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Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Childhood obesity is at an all-time high as about one-third of the United States children are considered obese. This growing rate is alarming as more and more children are having health problems such as diabetes, liver disease, and cardiovascular problems. These children are learning bad health habits at a young age that will carry over into their adulthood where they further increase the risk of health problems. In order to fix this epidemic, there has been involvement by the government, health institutions, and campaigns. While the government can create laws that regulate what children are exposed to at school, they cannot control their eating habits at home. Thus, the most productive way to change childhood obesity is to have good role models, especially the parents or guardians. Parents can control what they purchase at the store and what they prepare for their children. By constantly supplying children with healthy options, they keep obesity down and teach healthy eating habits for the future. It is also important for parents and guardians to encourage children to play outside and not sit around and watch TV or play video games all day. Technology has provided non-active entertainment for children, making it more difficult for children to be motivated to be active outside. Parents and guardians can also change this by not supplying children with lots of video games and by encouraging children to participate in activities with them.


About Amanda Skonezney

I am a senior accounting major and anthropology minor at Bucknell University. I am also apart of the division I women's water polo team. I currently live in Harrisburg, PA. After graduation, I plan on going into tax and earning my CPA.


7 thoughts on “Childhood Obesity Epidemic

  1. Amanda – I totally agree that childhood obesity is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. In fact, it is the topic of my white paper! I do find it amazing to think that many people in the world go hungry and starve to death because they can’t afford or don’t have access to food, and in the U.S. we have the problem of obese children who eat too much. Kind of sad if you ask me. It’s just something to think about.

    Posted by Lauren McGuiggan | April 22, 2012, 11:19 pm
  2. The rates of obesity I think have a lot to do with the type of food we are eating (or parents are feeding their children). America consumes so much processed food rather than fresh. Preparation is everything and a TV dinner, for example, is in no means nourishing or healthy. Readdressing the variables of obesity – the how and why – can be great tools in coming up with a strategy to help educate people on this problem. I agree with you Amanda that video games and technological advances in general keep kids inside more so than ever before. I miss the days when you could just go out and explore. I feel the world has continued to shrink in that regard.

    Posted by Danielle Marquette | April 23, 2012, 7:21 pm
  3. I don’t know about you guys, but I hated being abroad and hearing Europeans talk about how fat Americans are, and how all we do is eat loads of McDonalds and watch TV. However, after coming home from 8 months of living in Ireland, the first thing I noticed in the JFK airport was how overweight both children and adults in the US are. To be frank, it’s gross and it’s embarrassing. Fortunately as a kid my parents always had me involved in sports, which kept me active and away from just parking myself on the couch and watching TV after school. Good habits develop at an early age, and I think parents need to be more responsible and set a good example early on.

    Posted by Jenna | April 24, 2012, 1:26 pm
  4. I think this is a subject matter that is severely depressing. Unfortunately, the problem absolutely stems from what you have discussed here: the parents. Parents truly need to be educated in not only nutritional habits, but also the human body and its habitual nature. When parents start to feed their children the fast-food processed foods, they are severely under-nutritionalizing them while also permitting their children to be accustomed with these eating habits. It is a truly unfortunate cyclical loop that needs to be stopped in its tracks, but I fear that this massive problem proves to be difficult to overcome. The presence, price, and ease of eating at fast-food restaurants and serving processed foods generally outstrips the benefits that a time-consuming, nutritional, expensive meal presents. Unfortunately, our lazy culture combined with economic strains are pushing individuals towards these unhealthy ways. Watch this intriguing documentary about one man’s (actually two) stand against this self-deprecating habit here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/289122/fat-sick-and-nearly-dead.

    Posted by Derek | April 24, 2012, 9:46 pm
  5. I would say that it is also an economic issue. Unfortunately, healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food. Low income families can feed a family of four at McDonalds for far less than going to a grocery store and buying produce and fresh meat. A Stanford article I found on obesity and income shows that in Colorado, low-income families (HHI of $25,000 or less) had a child obesity rate of 25% while families with a HHI of $75,000 or more had a child obesity rate of 8%. The article can be found here: http://smysp.stanford.edu/documentation/researchProjects/2010/fatteningOfAmerica.pdf

    Posted by ChrisB | April 25, 2012, 10:14 am
  6. I always knew that America had a rep for being obese or fat and whatnot but this was forever reinforced when I visited Europe over spring break. The style of eating and menu options are far different than those here in the Super size me country. Great post Amanda this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed at the root of the problem which is the parents. Growing up, kids are only faced with what’s placed in front of them during meal times and unfortunately some parents choose to lead a life full of take-out.

    Posted by Patrick | April 25, 2012, 1:28 pm
  7. Let’s assume that many parents would like to do this. How can they? I guess i am skeptical of major changes from simply a shift in attitude…

    Posted by Jordi | April 25, 2012, 2:19 pm

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