Childhood Obesity: Where Do We Go From Here?


Childhood obesity has taken the nation by storm.  According to, Michelle Obama's website dedicated to her campaign to fight this pandemic, childhood obesity has tripled in the last three decades.  This means that today, one in three kids in the United States are obese and have a future that could potentially include diabetes, heart disease and cancer just to name a few; these are all serious diseases that should not be taken lightly. 

So why has this jump increased so much and why isn't the trend reversing? I believe this scary pandemic sweeping the nation is due to two factors: the sedentary lifestyles more Americans are leading and the increased portion size.

letsmoveweblogo.gif states that, "eight to 18-year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommend levels of physical activity."

To put it simply, kids are not moving.  The friendly neighborhood games of kickball and tag are being replaced with hours of playing games in front of some type of screen. This type of lifestyle starts from the top down.  If you as a parent or guardian are not promoting daily physical activity and doing so yourself, how can you expect your child to do something different? 

When it comes to portion sizes, more always seem to be better, especially as quick and easy becomes the standard for eating in many households across the country.  While it is normal to look for easy things to cook when times are crazy, not keeping healthy foods a top priority can do a number on your own personal health.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention discussed this in an article saying, "Research shows that children eat more without realizing it if they are served larger portions. This can mean they are consuming a lot of extra calories, especially when eating high-calorie foods."

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, this lack of exercise and a poor diet is the cause of more than 300,000 deaths every year.  If permanent lifestyle changes are not made, what does the future look like for our children and our children's children? While it seems like a world away, changes need to start being made now, in order for them to make an impact on future generations.  



This blog post is really scary, but true! People in other parts of the world make fun of America for having a lot of fat people, it's like we are known for it. It really is sad. However, obsesidy is such a sensitive subject since some people just can't control being fat. For example, consider ther virus that has caused 1/3 of obese people their probem. Sometimes weight is generally out of control. Yes we can take precautions like eating healthy, excercising, getting good night sleeps, etc. but there are SOMETIMES exscuses. There are both several genetic impications of obesity and enviornemental facrors . I really need to start changing my eating habits and lifestyle while I am young...because according to, it is harder to lose weight once you're older.

I definitely agree with you about this being problem being fueled primarily by larger portions and kids just being less active. Correct portion sizes should be something universally known, but instead I feel like the only thing the country as a whole knows about portion size is that we eat more than we are supposed to. WE should all be fully aware of correct portion sizes and be more conscious of controlling our portions. Also it’s evident that with the younger generations kids are becoming less and less active, and in my opinion it is mostly due to technology. We are completely consumed by our phones, computers, video games, and televisions. While all these things are good, I think they are good in moderation and we should be watching how much time we spend behind the computer screen versus how much time we are spending being active during the day.

I couldn't agree with you any more Kelsey! I think that even though it's sad, and something everyone wants to pretend isn't real, we need to face the truth. I think it's great that Michelle Obama has been implementing plans like this for schools. It's time that someone faces the facts and takes charge of this horrible epidemic. When you talk to older people, they don't ever remember young children having such horrible weight problems before. The fact that children are less active is the number one problem. When I see my little cousins sitting in front of the TV or on their phones, it makes me sick. When I was younger, playing outside with the neighborhood kids was the most exciting thing in the world. If we don't get this under control soon, will we ever?

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