Ethics Paper - Childhood Obesity and Nutrition

4662 WordsJul 27, 201219 Pages
Abstract Schools may have an ethical obligation to help in the prevention of the increasing propensity toward childhood obesity. School programs can be implemented to improve the nutritional quality of students’ diets. Students spend approximately one third of their day in school and consume one to two meals there per day, therefore justifying the importance of the responsibility to advise dietary behaviors and influence healthy decisions. In consideration of these logical methods, the ethical dilemma arises as good actions conflict with those that may be seen as a conflict of interest by interfering with the choices of children and their parents, faculty, and the community. Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that…show more content…
Childhood obesity leads to increased risks to physical and emotional health. According to the CDC, one in three American children born in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes (Seibel, 2008). Young people are also at risk of developing serious psychosocial burdens due to societal stigmatization associated with obesity. Between 2001 and 2005, the hospital costs for obese children increased from $125.9 million to $237.6 million, according to a study that tracked trends in childhood obesity on hospital care and costs. Researchers also identified a near-doubling in hospitalizations of youth aged 2 to 19 with a diagnosis of obesity between 1999 and 2005 – from 21,743 to 42,429 (Trasande, 2009). When people eat more calories than they burn off, their bodies store the extra calories as fat. A couple of extra pounds of fat is not a big deal for many people, however, if people keep up the pattern of eating more than they are burning off over time, more and more fat builds up in their bodies. Eventually, the body is holding so much extra fat that the excess fat may cause serious health problems. Factors that increase a child’s risk of becoming overweight include diet, inactivity, genetics, psychological factors, family factors, and socioeconomic factors. Regular consumption of high-calorie foods, such as fast foods, baked
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