Childhood Obesity : A Social Issue

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Gone are the days that kids would beg for the chance to play outside. My grandfather often reminisces about his childhood, when the lack of technological entertainment had very little sway over how he and his childhood friends spent their time. Most days were spent playing outdoors, riding bikes, playing baseball, or simply just running around and getting into trouble. These days however, technological advances such as smartphones, television, and tablets, have turned children’s attention away from the great outdoors. Many days are now spent staring mindlessly into a digital screen. While this may be keeping kids out of trouble, it is also causing detrimental effects on their health. With such a sedentary lifestyle, mixed with a diet that is high in sugar and empty calories, it is no wonder that childhood obesity has gripped the nation (Schmidt, 2003). Childhood obesity is a social issue that is affecting the lives of many young Americans, and children around the World. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person is termed obese if he or she has an excess of body fat in relation to their body mass (CDC, 2015). This is usually the result of a higher intake of calories in conjunction with a low activity level (CDC, 2015). For a long time, obesity and its health related conditions were thought to only exist in the older generations (Daniels, 2006). However, these conditions are now being seen in children, and with rapid frequency (Daniels,

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