Childhood Obesity Affecting Country in More Ways than One



Will the current epidemic of childhood obesity affect our country as a whole? With the change of our healthcare system, obesity is now not helping our debt crisis. According to a study conducted by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009, direct and indirect costs of obesity are as high at $147 billion dollars annually. This will cost our country a trillion dollars every year if things are not changed.


More importantly than this, some folks believe that the epidemic may play a role in the future of our national security. Based on a report published by Mission, we are the only country whose military has to worry about obesity problems. Lt. Seip, a spokesperson for Mission, said that America is safe because of the people who defend it, not the weaponry.


Even if one is not worried about the health of the youth of America, they should be taking concern. Over 25% of youth are now considered obese, and this does not seem to be declining rapidly any time soon. I see this issue as being undervalued. If former leaders in our military are worried, I would be as well. If the US loses its notion as a well defended nation, we have nothing. If our debt issues continue, we will also have nothing.


So before our great nation collapses, let's turn the issue around! Besides obvious ways of promoting better eating, especially in schools, I would like to focus in on one major issue: stress levels on parents. Children with parents with high levels of stress, especially single parents, are more likely to be obese that parents without stress. Researchers stated that kids with parents who have high levels of stress tend to eat fast food very often. Along with this, I would think that parents may not have as much supervision over their children when they are stressed.


Obesity is affecting our nation in too many ways. Let's start by helping stressed out parents whose children may be lead down wrong dietary paths. Do you think childhood obesity is an epidemic? I do.


I found an interest in this subject for a while now, I actually did a final project for these studies in high school. I have found a lot of really interesting facts about obesity in children and the United States in general. Studies have shown that people that have less than a high school degree have the highest obesity rate out which is about 32.9%. This makes sense because most people without a high school degree cannot get a job that pays well, which essentially makes them eat more fast food/cheaper food then those that can afford healthier meals. Obesity is also the second most leading cause of death in the United States...these facts are so surprising to me but at the same time I can see why because of the fast food that is so easy to access. This is definitely a problem that is growing quickly..

Child obesity is a scary thing. Children learn these habits early in life and the longer they stick with them the harder it becomes to break those bad habits. It is important to provide children with proper healthy habits early on so that they can continue those habits later in life. There are many interventions that do just that. Let's Move is a popular intervention that promotes healthy living starting with young children. It focuses on providing children as well as parents with the facts concerning health and obesity, ideas on how to eat healthy, being active for more than 60 minutes per day and staying active as well as supporting the publishing of Public Service Anouncements. This is only one example of a successful obesity intervention program we have within the United States. Obesity is definitely a problem but I think it is great that there are so many programs created around reducing that problem.

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