Obesity in anyone can prove to be a life threatening condition, but calculating good eating habits, a healthy diet and proper exercise for our children can help prevent that child from becoming obese. Many studies have been done over the course of the last decade or so trying to understand why so many of our American children are being diagnosed with health issues that normally do not show up in most adults until their later years. A reason for the increase in serious health problems has been linked to the consumption of fast food. A study says that nearly one-third of all American children, both girls and boys between the ages of four through nineteen eat fast food on a regular basis. The study also says that kids are gaining weight up to 6 lbs per year on regular consumption of fast food.
The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%” (Childhood Obesity). To some it may not sound very serious, but children that are obese have a very large risk to suffer from many other health problems. “Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Also children and adolescents who are obese are also at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem”(Childhood Obesity). Not only does it put them at risk when they are younger, obese children also tend to become obese when they are adults, causing them to have the same, if not more serious health problems.
As the pace of the American lifestyle increases there is less time to prepare a home-cooked meal, which leads many families to stop at the drive-thru on their way home. This rise in fast food consumption may be one contributing factor to the rise in obesity among Americans, especially among children and adolescents. High fat fast food meals take a toll High fat diets, typical of fast food meals, contribute to a variety of negative and costly health outcomes, including obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease and some cancers. With the increase in consumption of high fat and calorie foods, there’s usually a decreased intake of foods rich in nutrients such as fruits and vegetables. This doesn’t mean that all fast food is bad, and it would be unrealistic to recommend totally eliminating it altogether.
When you take in more calories than you burn, your body stores those unused calories as fat. Obesity occurs when a person has too much body fat. Low-income families are more susceptible to obesity because of limiting factors such as: limited resources and lack of access to healthy, affordable foods; fewer opportunities for physical activity; cycles of starvation and overeating; and high stress levels. Low-income neighborhoods often lack farmers’ markets and other grocery stores where fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, and whole grain products are readily available. Those without transportation are subjected to shopping at convenience and corner stores.
However, the studies of the American academy of child and adolescent psychiatry showed that between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Child and adolescent obesity is also associated with the increase risks of diabetes, emotional problems and cholesterol. Similarly, Children with weight problems tend to have much lower self-esteem and be less popular with peers. Running out healthy food campaigns have been out for many years now but unfortunately is not changing anything in the obesity problem. The American heart society organization showed that obesity is increasing due to the increase in fast food restaurants.
People who are obese are more likely to have health problems such as: high blood pressure, raised cholesterol high insulin levels, impaired glucose tolerance, type two diabetes, heart attacks, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney problems and polycystic ovary syndrome. Not all children will have these health problems but doctors are finding these problems in children and the children are getting younger. As a whole childhood obesity puts children in harm’s way and the future of America. And that is why the cycle must be reversed. We owe to the country and the kids who live
How Poverty Affects Obesity English 135 How Poverty Affects Obesity How fast would you die if you didn’t have food? A better question might be how fast could you die if you did have food? Americans are slowly eating themselves to death; getting larger and larger and the more financially disadvantaged you are the quicker the food you are eating will kill you. Obesity also has a stronghold on the weakest of society, the children. Although obesity in adults continues to rise, the citizens of this nation are accustomed and less attuned to this issue.
Additionally physical activity has decreased and between computers and video games children are leading more sedentary lifestyles. Dual income families mean busy parents more likely to rely on processed, fast foods that tend to be higher in calories and fat but low in nutritional value. These same children are more likely to be left home alone after school to choose their own snacks and spend their time watching TV or playing on the computer (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.). Additionally race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status play a role in determining obesity. Fast food is not only fast but also inexpensive compared to nutritious ready-to-eat meals.
Children who live in a low income home are at a higher risk of obesity. The shortage of money that these families experience pushes them to engage activities like buying convenience foods, which usually contain high amount of sugar (AOC). Children with low income families do not have the money to play sports at schools, which is a problem because school sports have an enrollment fee. Another way the family’s economic status can affect childhood obesity is that parents with low incomes usually do not have much education; this makes them less likely to know about childhood obesity and so they ignore
Fast Food Restaurants Effect on Obesity Obesity is a health problem for overweight people in this country, as American's all we can do is deny the truth, or block out the thoughts in our heads .What we need to realize though is that being overweight and dealing with obesity is not the path we want to lay out for ourselves. It’s the way we eat unhealthy that makes us regret the way we look or that leads to other severe health problems. "One-third of children and two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, posing a daunting public-health challenge. Those adults are more likely to develop serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. "(Preventing obesity, Mantel, pg1).