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Shelbi Denham

on 28 April 2010

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CHILDHOOD OBESITY Obesity has trippled in the past 30 years. Today, every 1 in 3 kids are considered overweight or obese. Because of the rise in childhood obesity, the younger generations of children are now expected to live shorter lives than their parents. What can be done about this? For kids to become healthier and decrease their chances of obesity, they must cut out a majority of the sugar, make sure they are eating healthy foods and getting the recommended amount of daily exercise. Since parents cannot be forced to feed their children the right foods from the wrong foods and guarantee that their children exercise or become physically active for an hour or more a day, then why not enforce the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in the school systems. What is wrong with the schools now? Schools should be focused on not only teaching children the basics but helping children live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Isn't that what they are doing? Not exactly, their standards and guidelines in schools today are not reaching their highest potential and are not helping overweight and obese children deal with their problems. For the United State as a whole, there are no set guidelines for health and nutrition classes, school lunches or physical education courses. Physical Education States that have mandatory P.E. classes
36 states for elementary schools
33 states for middle schools
42 states for high schools
The USDA says that children 18 years and younger should get at least an hour or more of physical activity a day
As of right now every state has a different outlook on how much if any physical education classes are included in our schools today. To help control obesity in children today national guidelines must be set. Why not put mandatory Physical Education Classes in schools, it's only going to help what is not being prevented now. School Lunches
Nutrition Classes Today school lunches consist of mainly all processed foods. The flavored milk that is served in schools have 4 teaspoons of sugar. If childrern are drinking one for breakfast and lunch that is 8 teaspoons they are consuming from just a drink at school. Due to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children are only supposed to get between 8-11 teaspoons of sugar a day. Most children are now getting between 19-29 teaspoons of sugar a day. Jamie Oliver recently started a show called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. His goal is to start a revolution in the United States. Oliver decides to start out in schools and try and change the way school lunches are prepared and made, that way every student gets a more healthier meal. Along with adjusting school lunches and adding mandatory P.E. classes, health and nutrition classes need to be taught every year. The importance of these health and nutrition classes is to teach the children about the foods that they eat; what effects the foods have on their body, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. During Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution show, he did a lot of hands on activity with the kids. Oliver went around classroom to classromm asking the kids if they knew the different types of fruits and vegetables; a majority of them did not. These mandatory classes would guarantee that students knew their vegetables and what certain foods were made out of. Another hands on experiment Oliver did with the kids, was show them how processed chicken nuggets were made. So ask yourself this, are you just going to sit back and do noting or are you ready to join the revolution? Not only are school lunches high in sugars but they also mainly consist of processed foods Processed foods are not only high in sugars but they consist of unhealthy fats too. Among the fats there are chemical additives added to the food. These additives decrease the vitiamins and nutrients in the food that our bodies need to grow healthy lives. Jamie Oliver is not the only one trying to stop the growth of childhood obesity; Michelle Obama has started her own campaigine as well as a fresh huge garden at the white house. The vegetables that are grown in the garden are used for meals and to teach kids how to cook. Lexington has even started their own garderns at a few select schools and different places in the community. The schools use the garden to cook fresh fruits and veggies for their school lunches. A study recently done by the Annals of Internal Medicine, predicted that out of the younger generations 90% of men and 70% of women living in the United States will become overweight or obese when they are older. If these 3 small steps were taken and added into every school across the United States, it would help create the way children live their lives. If they have grown up eating the right foods and know what foods are good for them, and how important it is to be physical active every day, then more than likely they will continue to live a healthy lifestlye.
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