Fix childhood obesity, a GROWING problem.

As I eat healthily and exercise almost every day in adulthood, I can’t help but reminisce from time to time, “I miss the good ‘ol days when I could eat whatever I wanted.”  However, I’m not sure how accurate my memory truly is.  If I had truly eaten what I wanted at all times, perhaps my life would have been very different than it was then and than it is now.

My parents were very good about feeding my sisters and I nutritious and wholesome meals as we grew up from crazy kids, to moody teens, and finally to young adults.  This, in turn, taught all three of us to continue these healthy eating practices now that we are on our own.  Such loving parents who cared about our health was something that my sisters and I took for granite when it came to food.  Not all children have the luxury of parents who care enough about what they put into their stomachs.

Here are the cold, hard and sad facts: Incidences of childhood obesity have more than tripled in the past thirty years… The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008… Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.  Childhood obesity leads to not only short-term health problems, but also long-terms health problems that can haunt children throughout their entire lives.

So what do I recommend?  While I can only do such much to make parents see the importance of feeding their children well, I can make a significant recommendation with regard to the other end of the weight gain spectrum — exercise.  As my 60-second solution to the problem of childhood obesity, I suggest that televisions and computers in obese children’s households should be hooked up to an exercise bike or treadmill.  The only way that the television or computer will function is if the child is exercising.  If they don’t like the treadmill or stationary bike, then they should go play outside with their friends.

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6 Responses to Fix childhood obesity, a GROWING problem.

  1. Pingback: Handy Guide To Solutions Posts | Biz Gov Soc

  2. jwhite17 says:

    I do believe that childhood obesity is a huge problem in our country. I think that a more efficient solution to the problem is increasing education about what constitutes “healthy” food. I eat fairly healthy, and I feel better for doing so, but the information that led me to do this came from outside sources. I think that if we increased access to this information kids would be more likely to eat healthy. I also believe that we should change the way we subsidize food to make healthier options cheaper. Healthy options are sometimes out of reach of lower income families, as it is cheaper for them to get a meal at McDonalds than it is to get fresh fruit vegetables. I think that these two changes would go a long way to helping solve this epidemic.

  3. awhigbee says:

    Childhood obesity is definitely a problem. Did you get a chance to see if there is anything in the news recently about Michelle Obama’s initiative to combat childhood obesity? I know from working in New York this summer there are many good initiatives that have started offering lower income kids a lunch meal that is healthy because while they get this meal at school, many times during the summer months their families cannot afford these meals and so they only get two a day. I have noticed also a lot more childhood hunger commercials on television. Hopefully these are all signs that childhood eating in all forms is coming into the spotlight.

  4. mnickels says:

    I totally agree that childhood obesity is a problem and that can also lead to adult obesity. The U.S. is one of the most obese countries and I think this is horrible. I think that a lot of the healthy eating options are the more expensive ones too sometimes and this can lead to the problem of childhood obesity if a family does not have enough money to provide the best food to themselves or their kids. I agree with Jason in that we should put healthier foods in a lower price range so more people can have the opportunity to eat healthier and help prevent childhood obesity of others and their own children.

  5. eeewald says:

    Obesity is not just a health concern either. More and more it’s turning into an economic issue. With a greater portion of the population requiring medical attention due to their obesity and related adverse health effects, huge amounts of time and money are required to pay for it. The worst part is that this such an easily preventable burden on our medical staff and economy.

  6. Jordi says:

    Great idea. Might be hard on the “must have” in the household. But maybe some combination of carrots and sticks and social pressure can help. What could a business do? Here is an idea. Let’s say content providers, like Nickelodeon, or distributors like cable companies agree to reduce the cost of services to households where there is obesity IF they install these devices. The savings would be proportional to the amount used. The cash could come from reduced costs savings from private insurance and/or reduced government expenditures from a healthier population.

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