Childhood obesity is one of the most prevalent issues that needs to be alleviated. Children have to comprehend that if they keep on consuming fattening foods, their chances of developing diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes increases significantly. I am proposing a solution to prevent childhood obesity. The proposal is to spread awareness of this epidemic by educating parents and their children about the dangers of obesity and how to prevent it. Every school should have a mandatory half an hour class that teaches students about eating healthy and the importance of exercising regularly. This proposal is aimed towards elementary school children and their parents. The genre for this piece is a newspaper article. The proposal can be published in magazines, newspaper, internet, and it can even be broadcasted on local channels to increase awareness of this social issue. The readers should be aware of the fact that there is a significant difference between the words overweight and obese. Overweight means that the individual weighs more than normal. On the other hand, obese means that the individual is extremely overweight. The Institute of Medicine states “over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years, and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years.” In 2004, about 9 million children over the age of 6 were considered obese. In 2005, the percent of
Mahajan 2 children who were overweight was about 25% and the percent of children who were obese was 11% (Nutritional Journal). However, these numbers had dramatically changed within a year. In 2006 The Alliance for a Healthier Generation reported that 17.1% of children were obese in the United States. That’s a horrifying 5.9% increase in just a year. After analyzing the trend of this epidemic, it seems that the number of children who are obese keeps on accelerating.
In order to comprehend childhood obesity one must first understand how it is initiated. Childhood obesity occurs when an individual consumes more food than their bodies need. For example, when the child has more input of energy than expenditure or output of energy then the child will gain extra weight. One reason why children are becoming obese is that they are able to obtain fattening food from stores and fast food restaurants easily since food has become cheaper over the years. There are many other factors involved in aggravating this problem as well. These factors include social, mental, and physical. Examples of social and mental factors include when children tend to obtain bad eating habits by making poor food choices. For instance, children will pick a twinkie bar rather than a fruit as a snack.
In addition, children are becoming more aware of psychological issues and are experiencing stress at a younger age. They think that eating is an alternative way to avoid anxiety, anger, or even boredom. Another key factor that shapes the child’s eating habits is the environment he or she is exposed to. The family should display good eating habits for the child. Whatever food the family consumes is a food selection for the child.
Also, children are in school for most of the day. Therefore, the type of food the cafeteria serves shapes the overall eating habits of the child.
Genetics also plays a role with childhood obesity. Unfortunately, some children have genes that make them more prone to acquiring excessive fat. On the contrary, some children have a higher metabolism than other children. Even though they might eat the same amount of fatty foods as the other child, they won’t be able to gain excessive fat due to their fast acting genes. However, with healthy eating habits, even the children who are more prone to becoming fat can easily avoid obesity.
As for the physical factor, the one thing many children are not doing these