The prevalence of childhood obesity for American children has never been higher. According to recent federal findings, the number of American children from the ages of six to eleven have tripled in the last forty-years, with one in every seven of these children meeting the criteria of obesity. As a nation, we are starting to see children as young as two years old with serious weight problems (Brownlee 88). Children, like the rest of Americans, are living more and more sedentary life styles. They are also bombarded with advertisements urging them to consume foods that are high in fat and calories, and are learning bad eating habits due to their parents. Overweight and obese children are not only putting themselves at risk for many health problems, but are also increasing the chance of rejection from their peer group. The time has come for parents, schools, and the media to realize just how serious our children’s weight problem is, because their health and well being are seriously at stake.
There are some people who believe that we should not address the problem of childhood obesity, because they think that this issue is too sensitive. Meaning that they believe that children will become traumatized when confronted with the harsh realities of obesity. There may be some truth to this argument, nevertheless the consequences of obesity are so severe, that we must risk hurting a child’s ego if it means saving his or her physical health. Also, by confronting the problem of childhood obesity we may actually save a child’s emotional well being in the long run.
Obesity is the cause of many childhood diseases. The cost of hospitalization for childhood obesity related illness increased three-fold in the United States between 1980 and 1998 (Chilton C1). Obese children of both genders are at greater risk for coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis, even if they lose weight as an adult. Asthma is more pre...