Fast Food And Childhood Obesity

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“Childhood obesity is a serious epidemic, affecting children across the world. In our country alone, 17% of all children and adolescents are now obese, triple the rate from just a generation ago” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2011). This drastic increase leads researchers and ordinary citizens alike to speculate about possible causes. Fast food consumption is one potential cause that has received widespread attention. Many researchers have looked at the relationship between fast food and childhood obesity from different angles. Some of these include the influence of family, the media, the proximity of fast food restaurants to schools and homes, and the nutritional impact. Examining the interconnection of these angles can lead to a better understanding of the relationship between childhood obesity and fast food, and from this multi-angle viewpoint, we can see that no single aspect is solely to blame. FAMILY INFLUENCE It is no secret that children learn their first eating habits from home. For the parents who are often being tugged in many different directions, having an endless amount of responsibilities and obligations, fast food can become an alternative to cooking at home. Though it may be convenient for the parent, it may not be the healthiest for the child. Even though fast food restaurants have kid-friendly options on the menu, the nutritional value may not be the best. Parents may not realize it, but they have
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