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English 101 - Youth Obesity
Transcript of English 101 - Youth Obesity
Youth obesity is a serious epidemic that has grown exponentially over the last three decades. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 42 million children in 2010 worldwide were obese, with 35 million of these in developing countries.
Parents should be aware of what kind of food their children eat, avoiding high-fat and high-sugar foods, also super-sized foods.
Group Solutions and Conclusion
Personal responsibility, obviously, plays a large part in the obesity epidemic. Children and youth, guided by family and community, must learn to make healthy food choices and make time to actively engage their bodies in physical activity at home and at school.
• On a more local level, Lexington, Mississippi’s Eat Wise, Live Active initiative excited many of its youth to adopt a healthier lifestyle by teaching the food pyramid, making better food choices, eliminating or reducing sugary drinks and exercising (Rural Youth, 2010).
Parents should help their children not waste time after-school in front of TV, computer and video games. Instead, they should provide their children with bikes and balls, allowing them to spend more time outside and, thus, engage in physical activity.
It's recommended that individuals get at least 30 minutes of exercise, such as walking five times a week.
Leaner kids tend to use the late daylight hours after school to skateboard, play basketball or otherwise get their bodies moving.
Children have to put down electronic devices and spend more time outside playing or exploring other options of physical activity.
Schools should promote healthy eating and physical activity. They should improve the dietary and physical activity of students, avoiding soft-drink vending machines and junk food inside schools, and retaking physical education program.
Government should control and regulate fast-food vendors, soft-drink industry and school policies to reduce or eliminate such foods in schools.
The food and beverage industries spend about $4.2 billion on advertisements aimed at young children.
With the problem of obesity comes the ever increasing health risk for youth, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and even some forms of cancer. Also according to WHO, 2.6 million people die a year as a result of being overweight/obese.
Along with health problems, there are negative psychological and social impacts on obese children and youth which result in less self-confidence and self-worth, leading sometimes to suicide.
According to the CDC, many factors contribute to obesity. Family, schools, community, government, food and beverage industries are some of the many factors responsible for this rapid growth. Without some kind of change, this epidemic will continue on the ever increasing rise.
• Parents play a major role in what their children eat and could really limit and maintain certain types of foods and portions.
• They should increase vegetable and fruit intake in their families and avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods. They should also include a healthy lunch every day for their children and avoid consuming junk food and sodas at school.
• Parents tend to also have a major effect on a child’s eating habit that they will carry with them their entire lives, so if taught while still in the home it could work wonders.
• Parents should control their children's TV viewing, video game playing and even their computer usage. They should provide their children, toys that promote outside activities, such as bicycles and balls and urge school and government to promote ealthy eating and physical activity at schools.
• By not purchasing or reducing purchases of processed foods, families can send a message to the food industry that their products are unwanted.
• Schools could regulate what food they offer and include healthier substitutes.
• There could be restrictions made to drink size to help regulate the intake of such drinks.
• At the national level, The First Lady, Michelle Obama, promotes a healthier lifestyle through better nutrition and an emphasis on physical activity through her “Let’s Move!” campaign (Tucker, 2013).
• Howard County, Maryland’s “Dump That Sugar!” campaign demonstrated the community’s readiness to assist against obesity by dumping 9.6 tons of sand which represents the amount of sugar students in the county would consume if each one drank one can of soda daily for a year (Dump That Sugar!, 2011).
• While communities and individuals are coming to terms with their responsibilities in fighting obesity, the food industry, including beverage, however, has yet to accept its accountability.
• When it comes to fast food chains, as stated by Ludgwig and Nestle (2008), it concluded that the industry is far too predatory upon society to rely on them for any steadfast change.
• The number of advertisements could be limited and caps could be made by our government to set limits for companies, so we don’t constantly feel the pressure and reminder of how a quick bite is only minutes away.
• Rather than continuing to emphasize personal responsibility, the industry needs to accept the part it has played and reexamine many of its practices, including marketing and the great amounts of additives in its products.
Ultimately, it is up to families to demand changes in the food industry through legislation and through their wallets. Furthermore, purchasing healthier foods will strengthen that message. Hopefully, by doing these things, consumers will succeed against obesity and the food industry will make changes that will add to their success.
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Music: 10,000 Maniacs. "Candy Everybody Wants." Our Time In Eden. Fox, 1992.