Childhood Obesity in America

Table of Content

The prevalence of overweight children is on the rise, surpassing previous rates. This escalation can be ascribed to multiple factors, including parental indifference towards their children’s dietary preferences, substantial portion sizes, and insufficient physical activity among youngsters. Concrete evidence substantiates these assertions: statistics reveal that 30.7% of Caucasian children, 30% of African American children, and 37.9% of Mexican American children are classified as overweight “(Overweight)”. It is worth noting that these figures exclusively pertain to American youth; incorporating data from other regions would likely unveil a more distressing scenario.

The paragraph contains information sourced from “Overweight in Children” on Other articles supporting the main idea will be sought from the Mercury Reader. The author, Eric Schlosser, was born in Manhattan, New York in 1960 and studied at Princeton and Oxford University. He started his journalism career at the Atlantic Monthly and is presently employed there as a correspondent.

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Exploring the topic of food product design, Schlosser delves into the use of diverse ingredients by different food companies in order to improve the taste of their products. Additionally, he investigates the formation of individuals’ taste and smell preferences during their early years. The article concludes by discussing how The Vegetarian Legal Action Network (TVLAN) has urged the FDA to require labels on foods that contain natural ingredients. Providing insight into Carlo Petrini’s background, he was born in Cuneo, Italy in 1949.

Petrini, who studied sociology in Trento, Italy, is a prominent figure in the slow cooked food movement. He is also the editor of Slow Food Nation. The second article, titled “Excerpt from Slow Food: The Case for Taste,” is written by Petrini. In this article, Petrini discusses how society has succumbed to the easy and cheap methods of food production. Petrini aims to convince readers that a traditional and slow cooked meal is superior to a fast food meal at McDonalds. Jane Roloff, with her journalism degrees, has held the position of managing editor at the American Chemical Society.

Raloff, a writer on the staff of Energy Research papers, also corresponded and contributed an article titled “Inflammatory Fat: Unraveling the Injurious Biology of Obesity.” The article addresses the increasing size of America’s population and discusses how a significant number of people under 60 years old in the US suffer from disabilities associated with excess weight (Roloff 204). Raloff suggests that there is potential for treating obesity-related inflammatory diseases using anti-inflammatory medications.

Although none of the articles specifically focus on childhood obesity, they are all relevant as they discuss various aspects of food or obesity. The article titled “Food Product Design” examines how different companies enhance the taste of their products by using better ingredients to entice consumers to purchase more. For instance, McDonald’s switched to using vegetable oil to fry their fries in response to criticism about the high cholesterol content in their previous cooking oil.

Schlosser discusses how the flavors of childhood foods affect adults, often driving them to revisit those foods without even realizing it (Schlosser 158). This idea demonstrates that what one consumes as a child can greatly influence their food preferences as an adult. In addition, Schlosser offers further support for this thesis by stating that memories of Happy Meals from childhood can lead to frequent visits to McDonalds in adulthood, particularly among heavy users who dine there four or five times a week (Schlosser 158).

The preceding quote supports the earlier thesis by demonstrating that individuals who had unhealthy eating habits in childhood often continue those habits into adulthood. The following article is relevant as it highlights another contributing factor to childhood obesity – the decline of traditional, home-cooked meals. Notably, the statistic reveals a significant increase in per capita meat consumption from 48 pounds in 1960 to 136 pounds in 1975 (Petrini 178).

Before technology, people had a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and meat in moderation, leading to healthier lifestyles for children. However, advancements in technology have made meat more easily accessible, causing increased consumption and obesity among young people. Additionally, the media has influenced our preference for unhealthy fast food instead of nutritious homemade meals. Petrini suggests that in a society dominated by hamburgers, popcorn, French fries, and the smells of deep-frying oil and deodorant (Petrini 182), taste has become a moral obligation.

This quote confirms that individuals consume the food advertised on Television, indicating that most people have an unhealthy diet due to the fact that the majority of advertised food is not good for our health. The third article in question provides insightful information about the consequences of transitioning from childhood obesity to adult obesity. Roloff commences the article by supporting her claim through statistics, stating that “Federal statistics indicate that as of 2001, one in five adults were obese. That’s roughly 45 million people.”

Almost twice the number of children fall into the overweight category. According to Roloff (203), approximately 15 percent of children, including those who are typically active and fit, are also overweight. This particular segment of the population perfectly supports the argument being made in this paper. The quote is ideal because it is supported by reliable statistics and reinforces the initial thesis. Furthermore, these statistics were collected in 2001, suggesting that the numbers have likely increased since then.

A study conducted in January revealed that obesity research indicated medical expenses related to excessive weight reached $75 billion in 2003 (Roloff 204). These findings highlight the potential repercussions of children retaining their extra pounds, as it increases the likelihood of them becoming obese adults and facing greater financial burdens throughout life. It should be noted that these statistics are based on data from 2003 and are presumed to have risen since then.

The increased costs of living caused by obesity are due to various factors. Firstly, individuals who are larger in size require more expensive clothing. In addition, obesity frequently leads to several diseases including Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Heart disease, Liver disease, and Sleep apnea. These illnesses emphasize the importance of promptly addressing childhood obesity to prevent future generations from facing similar difficulties. Fortunately, there are numerous preventive measures available for combating childhood obesity. suggests several ways to encourage healthy habits in children. One suggestion is to avoid using candy or snacks as rewards, as this can lead to unhealthy habits. Another important recommendation is leading by example and practicing what you preach when it comes to promoting healthiness. If you want your child to be healthier, it’s crucial to set a good example by being healthier yourself. Additionally, limiting the amount of time children spend watching TV and playing video games is highly advised. These last two solutions are particularly significant since many children nowadays spend their entire day indoors engaging in sedentary activities instead of being outside and burning off calories.

There is a growing concern regarding the rising problem of childhood obesity and the urgent necessity for intervention. Although there are commendable suggested solutions, further measures can be implemented to effectively tackle this epidemic. One such action is promoting physical activity among expectant mothers during pregnancy. This can lead to the birth of healthier babies with a decreased risk of weight problems throughout their lives.

To prevent it, one can engage in physical activities with their children instead of watching TV. Instead of allowing them to watch TV or play video games after school, going outdoors and participating in games like tag, basketball, and soccer together is recommended. In summary, America is facing a growing issue both physically and metaphorically due to the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity. As a result, there has been an increase in adult obesity as well as more illnesses and higher healthcare expenses.

The impact of obesity reaches beyond individuals who are overweight and impacts the entire United States. The financial consequences affect everyone, resulting in additional payments. Childhood obesity is one factor that highlights the importance for Americans to prioritize their health and the health of their children. By being proactive, we can lessen the burden on healthcare costs and eliminate the need for healthcare reform legislation. It is crucial for us as Americans to tackle the rising rates of youth obesity. Merely discussing the issue is insufficient; we must show enough concern to take action.

Works cited

  1. Petrini, Carlio. Excerpt from Slow Food: The Case Taste. Boston: Pearson, 2010.
  2. Print. Carlson, Nicole. “PREVENT CHILDHOOD OBESITY. ” Charityguide. org. N. P. , 2005-2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2010.
  3. Collins, Anne. “Food Portion Sizes. ” Annecollins. com. Web. 05 Apr. 2010.
  4. “Overweight in Children. ” Americanheart. org. Web. 05 Apr. 2010.
  5. Raloff, Janet. Inflammatory Fat: Unraveling the Injurious Biology of Obesity. Boston: Pearson, 2010.
  6. Print. Schlosser, Eric. Food Product Design. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Print.

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Childhood Obesity in America. (2018, May 17). Retrieved from

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