Obesity among American children
Childhood obesity is on the rise in the United States. Obesity in a child occurs when a child is above the government established guidelines for weight and height based on their age. During the period of 1964 to 1994, childhood obesity has increased from 5% to 13%. Today, it is approximately 20% and still rising. Excessive time spent watching television, using the computer, and playing video games, are contributory to the escalating rate of childhood obesity. Today, obesity in Americaâ€™s youth has captured media attention in America. Although Americans are aware of the statistical data regarding child obesity, many families still do not take proactive measures to lessen the risk of obesity in their children. The excessive amount of time spent on television, computers, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (adult onset) continue to increase among American youths.
In America, children on average, spend ...view middle of the document...
Parents should be held accountable by increasing physical activity for their children and decrease media usage.
Internet use may be one of the primary contributorâ€™s to the poor fitness and obesity of many of todayâ€™s adolescents. Children are spending a massive amount of their free time just sitting in front of the television and playing on computers. Children are no longer participating in physical activities such as running, jumping, taking a walk outside or participating in team sports causing obesity related medical conditions to occur. Food marketing is also on childrenâ€™s website. Because the food marketed to children are not consistent with a healthful diet, parents should consider joining advocacy groups to pressure industry to reduce online food marketing directed at youths.
The major health threat as a result of TV and computers is the early development of type 2 diabetes (adult onset); this can be found in children with a family history with diabetes. A child with an obese parent, brother, or sister is more likely to become obese. Pediatricians are reporting a significant increase in adolescent developing type 2-diabetes, which can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and blindness. Children that develop diabetes at an extremely young age, face a poor quality of life and a shortened life span, especially if the disease remains untreated. The earlier the signs are identified, the better the prognosis will be in the long run. Pediatricians are now monitoring childrenâ€™s Body Mass Index (BMI) and exercise frequency, especially those youth suffering from obesity. Pediatricians are implementing prevention programs and treatment for children in order to control the obesity epidemic.
In conclusion, parental involvement is the key to childrenâ€™s healthy diets. To decrease the obesity epidemic parents should limit television viewing, and computer activity to two hours a day. Parents, educators, and food service staff should encourage children to participate in physical activities and sports. Parents should promote healthier foods at home, and leave the unhealthy foods in the stores. Nevertheless, changing eating habits is not easy for our children, however; it is a wonderful benefit for parents willing to take on the task.