Stop Childhood Obesity

December 3, 2010
Look around your school. What do you see? Well I can tell you what I see. There are obese kids ages 5-19; kids who can barely run or walk; kids who get about 20 minutes on the mile because they are so unhealthy. Childhood obesity is a problem now more than ever.

What are the causes of childhood obesity? First and foremost, we Americans eat way too much and exercise a lot less than we should. In other words, we're taking in more calories than we are burning. Also, many schools are cutting out or shortening gym time when we should have it every day or every other day. For example, my school has gym every day for forty-five minutes. Parents: be a good influence. If a child is living in a family that eats junk food and Mcdonald's every day, then you can't really ask why your child weighs twice the weight they should be.

School is also a big influence on how much children weigh. The lunch choices are getting less and less healthy. At my middle school we have pizza as a choice three times a week! Most middle schools have about two or three lunch choices a day as alternatives to the main meal. On kidshealth.org, it gives many solutions of how to make your school lunch healthier. If you don't like that idea, bring a cold lunch every day, thats what I do. Gym is getting cut out of the program at many schools. Kids are too discouraged to join sports or they don't have a school sports program. Also, a lot of elementary schools are taking out or shortening recess/outside time. I remember one time when I was in third grade, the district was about to take out school recess but we and our teachers protested and won the fight. Schools play a huge part in a childs health and they might not even realize it.

There are so many children that are overweight in the United States and they don't know the danger they have put themselves in. One third or 33% of kids in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Overweight thirteen year olds have an 80% chance of becoming an overweight adult. The American Public Health Association tells that childhood obesity puts kids at risk of artherosclerosis, bone/joint problems, sleep apena, cancer, type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes, athsma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and premature death as an adult. The diseases that are caused from childhood obesity are responsible for four out of ten deaths of U.S. adults. Seems bad doesn't it? Those are only the physical effects. The mental effects include depression, low self-esteem, being teased, suicide, a negative body image of themselves, and worse.

Some people are tree huggers, all about saving the Earth. Why don't we save our own kind along with the Earth? I challenge you to be healthier, tell your friends and family to be healthier. I can guarantee that you will be happier.





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