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A Proposal To Reverse Obesity Rates

1870 words - 8 pages

Obesity is a rising problem in the United States. With obesity rates on the rise something must be done to prevent this massive issue. There are ways to help including educating at young ages, improving nutrition facts at restaurants, and providing more space for citizens to get physically active.

Studies have linked obesity to many things from ear infections, to pollution, to air-conditioning, to socializing with obese people. The reason Americans are obese is because of the increasing luxury available to them. Obesity is a rising problem in the United States, and with all the privileges given to its citizens, the country has become increasingly lazy. With portion sizes ...view middle of the document...

Being overweight can cause increased risks for several serious diseases and even can result in decreased mental health on account of low self-esteem and social discrimination. Children who are overweight also are at least twice as likely to have heart disease, diabetes, and orthopedic problems (Internicola, 2009). Sadly, children are being pressured into unhealthy lifestyles even more so than adults are. Seventy-five percent of the fast food industry’s advertising money goes towards persuading children in the fun, convenience and affordability of its food (McBride, 2010). There is, however, a way to use the persuasion of children to reverse the affects of obesity.

Children’s behavior is easily influenced and can be manipulated depending on their environment. If heath conscious people surround a child, the child will in turn grow to be well educated in how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The average student spends around seven hours a day in school. This makes it an extremely influential place for its students. Unfortunately, several school officials refuse to talk about the risks of obesity in fear of inspiring eating disorders and the fear and disgust of obese people after children know what can occur from being overweight. The problem with this is that there are so few children with eating disorders compared to obese adolescents that the fear of this is almost ridiculous. Also, if the instructor were to correctly define a healthy person than the children should be able to decipher that not eating is not healthy either. Proper instruction at school can result to a healthy style of living at all times.

Fitness classes are required at elementary schools but in higher grades than that the level of physical activity they get at school is small. The percentage of high school students who participate in physical education classes is down ten percent from the nineteen nineties (Rotondaro, 2010). Schools need to increase the amount of time they spend discussing living a healthy lifestyle.

There are several steps schools could take to ensure their students have all the knowledge needed to pursue a healthy life. The schools must drastically change the food available to their students. Teaching about health and then providing greasy, unhealthy foods will send a mixed message to the students. The meals provided to the students need to be well balanced and most importantly, not as processed. A cheese sandwich served on oat bread sounds simple, does it not? Miraculously, the ingredient list is over thirty ingredients long and even contains high-fructose corn syrup, which officials have promised to remove from students’ food (2010). Fitness programs are also in need of great improvement. Physical activity needs to be a daily part of the school day and the low intensity exercises most schools use does little for students. Schools need to step up the severity of the exercises they have students do. Each student needs to be involved in some type of...

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