U.S. Obesity Epidemic

April 6, 2011
By Chase41 BRONZE, Boulder, Colorado
Chase41 BRONZE, Boulder, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Over the last thirty years, childhood obesity in the U.S. has increased 300%. Obesity is a worsening in the United States and throughout the world. It has turned into an epidemic. The United States is currently the most obese country in the world! That definitely says something about our society. The government in the U.S. should step up and help combat the obesity epidemic before it’s too late.

To begin, the government should mandate that school lunches be healthy... Currently, the food served in the average school cafeteria consists of a sugary drink, a high calorie, high fat main dish, and a sugary dessert. In order to make the food healthier, we need to add nutritional value to the food we serve in school cafeterias. The average school lunch has to have more protein and fiber, and less sugar, salts, and fats. “According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nine out of every 10 school lunch programs do not meet the nutritional standards set by the U.S. government” (Paula Martinac). Also, the food needs to taste good. The schools that have converted to healthy lunches have had complaints from students that the food is bland and dry. The solution to this problem is to use fresh food that is well seasoned and well prepared. This will reduce the complaints of bland and dry food.

The U.S. government could also help decrease the obesity of its citizens by improving the exercise programs in schools. Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle. “Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day” (“How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?”). Exercising for an hour a day will promote an active lifestyle. Exercise also has other benefits like helping students learn better in school. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which helps students learn better. “Recent findings have linked exercising regularly with increased cerebral blood flow and a greater number of blood vessels in the brain” (Gregory Kellett). Exercising has multiple healthy affects on people including fighting obesity.

Finally, the U.S. government could start incentive programs… People who are obese could get discounts to help jump-start their path to a healthy lifestyle. One form of discounts they should get is a discount to join a local gym. By giving them a discount, they would be encouraged to start exercising and losing weight. At King County Gym, they have a system like this, and it is successful in helping people get healthy. Also, local grocery stores and restaurants could give discounts to obese people on select healthy foods. If they offered discounts for healthy food, obese people would be more likely to buy healthy food than fast food. So many obese people turn to fast food because it’s cheap, but if the healthy choices were as cheap, they would be more appealing.

The government should take action and make some changes in our society to help lower obesity rates. School lunches, requiring daily exercise regiments, and offering discounts for people who are obese, are just a few of the changes… These changes are achievable and could help bring America out of the darkness of the epidemic of obesity.

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