Childhood Obesity: a Growing Epidemic Essay

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Childhood Obesity: A Growing Epidemic Matt Vogel University of South Dakota Introduction: Would you like to super-size this meal for an extra $.39? That is a question far too many Americans hear everyday. People in this country are getting fatter and fatter. "In a study conducted by the independent Institute of Medicine (IOM), the prevalence of obese children age 6 to 11 is three times as high as 30 years ago," (Arnst and Kiley, 2004). Additionally, 31% of the total U.S. population is classified as obese (Tiplady, 2005). As obese kids move through adolescence and into adulthood, their risk for health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes increases greatly (surgeongeneral.gov, n.d.). To tackle this…show more content…
They eat out too much, purchase too many unhealthy foods at the grocery store, allow their kids to fall into unhealthy eating habits, and, perhaps most importantly, let children stay inside watching TV, playing video games, etc., and not getting them outside and active. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) says that nearly half of adolescents watch more than two hours of television a day (surgeongeneral.gov, n.d.). The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting a child's recreation screen time to just two hours per day (Mayoclinic.com, n.d.). School's can also be blamed for obesity, although, as will be divulged later, they have probably done the most to fight the problem. Having candy and pop machines in halls and cafeterias promotes unhealthy eating habits. Government lunches provided for children are normally loaded with a lot more pizza, burgers, fries, and cookies, than salad, corn, green beans, and carrots. According to Eileen Vogel (personal communication, March 26, 2006), lunch room server for the Sioux City Community Schools, and an employee of Weight Watchers, "the lunches provided rarely meet what Weight Watchers would consider healthy standards for children." She added that the amount of desserts is usually greater than the amount of fruits and vegetables available for the kids. Schools can certainly take some of the blame for the sedentary lifestyles of many kids today as well. According to C. Arnst and D. Kiley in their
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