In a country swarmed with easily accessible but unhealthy food options, parents are providing their children with detrimental eating habits which raises concerns as to the rapidity of obesity in children. Childhood obesity is drastically increasing and becoming as dangerous as smoking causing illnesses that can easily be prevented. This is why further awareness is necessary in order to provide parents and children an opportunity to strive in their future.
In order for a child to be diagnosed as obese, they go through a series of tests which most specifically focuses on their BMI which “Compares the body mass index of all children in a specific age group and sex anything beyond average is considered obese”(Jacqueline Langwith).
In the United States the most affected age group of children are those ages 6-19.“Childhood obesity rates in the U.S have more than tripled, one in five children ages six to nineteen are obese as of 2016”.(Jacqueline Langwith)With such a large amount of children being affected there should be more awareness being spread in order to shine a light on the drastic effects that can be brought upon in the future.
Effects that not only influence their health but their emotional growth.” High cholesterol, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, depression, and addiction are some of the few illnesses which are now commonly diagnosed in young obese children“(Mayo Clinic Staff)
Not only is obesity amongst young children becoming a large issue but it’s alarmingly as threatening as smoking. Both issues have many correlations such as type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, addiction, depression and a higher likelihood of a stroke.
” Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type two diabetes”(Mayo Clinic Staff). As well as” Increased health risks for smoking have rise from two to four in terms of Coronary Heart Disease and Cerebrovascular accident”(Center Of Disease Control And Prevention: Smoking and Tobacco use). This is caused by a buildup of plaque or fat in the arteries of the heart which creates a blockage causing insufficient blood flow and oxygen which can result in a heart attack and even a stroke. There is also emotional trauma involved because just as a smoker is addicted to smoking an obese child is addicted to unhealthy foods or large quantities. One difference between these topics is the fact that it is globally known that smoking is harmful while an obese child seems to be a stage one will come out of sooner or later. If more people were to be aware of the long term side effects they would regard obesity in the same spectrum as smoking.
Like stated before the accessibility of unhealthy foods has definitely played a role in bad eating habits amongst children but,” A 2013 study from the University of North Carolina found that consumption of fast food to be a small part of the problem”(Jacqueline Langwith). It’s because of these statements that schools started offering more fruits and vegetables at breakfasts and lunch, however,” Despite these reforms overall decline of childhood obesity is small suggesting that an increase in healthier food options does not result in healthier eating”(Jacqueline Langwith). Overall the only way to truly have an impact in finding a solution is starting at home with parents implementing healthy eating patterns and food options.
All things considered, the topic of childhood obesity may be sensitive due to the fact that they are children. However, it’s important that more people take everything into consideration. Especially because children are influenced into a lifestyle they do not know the dangers of, such as a smoker would.