Childhood Obesity And Poverty

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Childhood Obesity and Poverty

Childhood obesity has become an epidemic. More than twenty three million children and teenagers are obese in the United States alone. Childhood obesity already costs fourteen billion dollars annually in health care expenses. Children who are obese are at a higher risk for heart, liver diseases and diabetes. They are also more likely to have bone and joint issues later in life. Most young children who are obese will grow up to continue their behaviors and become obese adults. The next generation is at risk of a greater amount of health problems and a shorter life span (Childhood Obesity Facts).
Our children should not have to worry about diabetes or heart issues. We need to take responsibility and find ways
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If so many children are hungry, why are the childhood obesity numbers increasing? When society pictures starving children, an image of a skinny and sickly looking child from some remote part of the world most likely appears in their minds. This is not the case for all children however, there are obese children who struggle with hunger as well. Poverty dense areas are on the rise with higher numbers of people who are obese. As the obesity numbers rise so do the number of people with diabetes and sedimentary numbers due to poverty (see table 1). This is because low income families don’t have enough funds to feed their family properly and the high sedentary rate is due to a lack of funding for activities or concern about physical security. With poverty and crime going almost hand in hand for most areas, not only do people feel less secure about going to do activities outside but there is also a lack of local programs to keep children involved in. Schools and other local organizations do not have the funding needed to implement these programs into something beneficial for the children. This results in only making the conditions that allow obesity to thrive more plentiful. When money needs to…show more content…
A family of four has to have a net income of 2,025 or less each month ("Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)"). That is very little to live on after rent, utilities, transportation cost, exc. A person who wants to get a higher paying job might not be inclined to take it, because they would lose their SNAP benefits and be in a worse spot than before if the pay increase would not cover the gap covered by the advantage of the SNAP. The amount of SNAP benefits doesn’t often stretch the entire month, so parents have to buy the processed bulk food products rather than fresh whole foods to try and stretch each dollar as far as possible. If something is done about the poverty in the nation, it would be a step in right direction for childhood obesity. Increasing the SNAP benefits for the lower income families would give parents an opportunity to cook nutritious meals if done properly. While increasing the funds, the program needs to have more restrictions on what can and cannot be purchased. Candy, pop, chips, and energy drinks need to be cut from the program completely and focus more on encouraging people that rely on it to only be permitted to purchase healthy food. While SNAP benefits have been cut by the government in order to put more money into schools lunch/breakfast programs, it makes little sense to take the money away from children at
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