Childhood Obesity in America Essay
Chris Watkins 4-5-10 Eng 101 Mr. Johnson Childhood Obesity in America There are more children overweight now than ever before. The reasons for this are that parents are do not care what their children eat, their portions are too big, or children are just too lazy. There are statistics to back this up. Statistics show that 30. 7 % of Caucasian children, 30% of African American Children, and 37. 9 % of Mexican American children are overweight “(Overweight)”. Those statistics are just for children in America if we included stats from other parts of the world it would be worse.
The source of these statistics is an article called “Overweight in Children,” which was found on Americanheart. org. A couple of articles that will be used to back up the thesis will be coming from the Mercury Reader. To give a small bio on the author of this article, this is about Eric Schlosser. Eric Schlosser was born in Manhattan, New York in 1960; Schlosser went on to attend Princeton and Oxford University. Schlosser began his journalism career at the Atlantic Monthly where he is still a correspondent today.
Schlosser’s “Food Product Design” is about the way different food companies use different types of ingredients to make their food taste better. Eric Schlosser also talks about how a person’s taste and smell preference is determined with in the first few years of his life. The last section of the article discusses how The Vegetarian Legal Action Network (TVLAN) demanded that the FDA put labels on foods the conation natural ingredients. . To give a background of the next author, his name is Carlo Petrini; he was born in Cuneo, Italy in 1949.
Petrini studied sociology in Trento, Italy, and is one of the biggest people in the campaign for slow cooked food, he is also the editor of Slow Food Nation. The second article is Petrini’s “Excerpt from Slow Food: The Case for Taste”. Petrini’s article discuses how we as people have sold out to society’s way of producing food the easy cheap way. Petrini is trying to show people in this article that a good old fashioned, slow cooked meal is good, and is better than a fast food meal at McDonalds. Jane Roloff has multiple journalism degrees, and served as managing editor of American Chemical Society.
Roloff was also on staff for Energy Research papers, as a writer and corresponded. The third and final article that was chosen was “Inflammatory Fat: Unraveling the Injurious Biology of Obesity. ” Raloff discusses how America is gotten bigger and bigger every year. Raloff also goes onto talk about how “in the US residents a large number of people under 60 years of age have disabilities linked to extra pounds” (Roloff 204). Raloff showed that there is a chance that there could be a chance that inflammatory diseases that are caused by obesity can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.
None of the particular articles exactly discuss childhood obesity, but they can still relate because they all talk about food or obesity. The first article “Food Product Design” talks about how different companies use better tasting ingredients to make people like, and buy more of their food. One example is McDonalds, in 1990 McDonalds changed to vegetable oil to cook there fries in, because they were receiving a lot of criticism for the amount of cholesterol in their fries.
Another example is how Schlosser talks about the flavors of childhood foods seem to leave an indelible mark, and adults often return to them, without always knowing” (Schlosser 158). That quote alone shows how what you eat as a kid influences what you end up liking to eat as an adult. Another quote that backs up the thesis is that “Childhood memories of Happy Meals can translate into frequent adult visits to McDonalds, like those of the chains, (heavy users), the customers who eat their four or five times a week” (Schlosser 158).
This last quote can back up the thesis stated earlier, because it shows how people who had bad eating habits as a kid, tent to have bad eating habits as adults. The next article is relatable because it shows that another reason we have obese children is because most people don’t have traditional, home cooked dinners. An interesting statistic was that the “per capita of meat went from 48 pounds in 1960, to 136 pounds in 1975” (Petrini 178).
That is a good reason why more of our kids have bigger waistlines, because before technology modifications, people mostly ate fruit and vegetables, and meat sparingly, but with technological advances, meat has become more accessible. The article also talks about how the media has also influenced us into wanting fast food, instead of a good home cooked meal. Petrini states how “in a world organized around hamburgers, popcorn, and French fries and reeking with the smell of deep frying oil and deodorant, taste represents a new moral imperative”( Petrini 182).
That quote alone proves that people eat what we seen advertised on Television, which means most people eat very unhealthy, because most of the food advertised on Television is not good for you. The third article that was used made great points as to what happens to someone when they go from childhood obesity to adult obesity. Roloff at the beginning of the article uses statistics to back what she is trying to say: “Federal statistics indicate that as of 2001, one in five adults were obese. That’s roughly 45 million people.
Almost twice that many fall into the next category, overweight. Some 15 percent of children, ordinary the most active and trim segment of the population, are also too heavy” (Roloff 203). That whole segment backs up exactly what trying to be proving in this paper. The reason why it is the perfect quote is because, one there are good statistics to back it up, and two the segment about 15 percent of kids being too heavy backs the opening thesis, and those statistics were taken in 2001, which means those numbers have went up since then.
This article also shows how if a kid who is obese turns into a adult who is obese it becomes costly: “A study in January obesity research pegs 2003 medical costs from conditions linked to excess weight at $75 billion” (Roloff 204). Again those stats are from 2003, which again means that the cost has probably risen. All those statistics show how if a child doesn’t lose the excess weight, it will lead to adult obesity, and a more costly life.
The reason why being obese will mean you will live a more costlier life is because the cost of clothes for bigger people is more expense, the cost of meds for diseases caused by obesity like Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Heart disease, Liver disease, and Sleep apnea. Those diseases that were just described were just a few of them, that is why there needs to be something done about childhood obesity, so that the next generation will not have to go though the same things that this generation has gone though. There are many different ways as to how you can prevent childhood obesity.
Some ways that www. charityguide. org suggested was that you shouldn’t reward your children with candy or snacks when they do something right, because it encourages bad habits. Another reason was that you should “practice what you preach,” meaning that if you want your kid to be more healthier, you need to as well, and one last one is that you should limit how much time they spend watching T. V, and playing video games. The last two solutions were the most important ones because most kids now of days spent all day watching T. V, and playing video games, instead of being outside burning off calories.
These multiple sites and articles show that obesity in children is turning into a major problem, and that something needs to be done about it. Some of the solutions that were given in the earlier paragraph are good, but there are even more steps that people can take to avoid this epidemic, you can all but avoid it by starting the process before you child is even born, physically fit women who continue to exercise while pregnant give birth to leaner babies, and these babies are less likely to struggle with their weight throughout their life.
You can also prevent it by doing physical actives with your kids instead of watching T. V, like when your child gets home from school instead of allowing them to watch T. V, or play video games, you should go outside and play fun games with them like tag, basketball, and soccer. To sum all this up you can say that America has a growing problem, literally and figuratively, because with the rise of childhood obesity, it has lead to a rise in adult obesity, which leads to more disease, which leads to higher health care cost.
This epidemic is not just costing obese people, but all of America, because everybody has to pay extra for it. Childhood obesity is one of the many reason as to why Americans need to start taking their and their children’s health more serious, so that healthcare for these disease wouldn’t be so costly, and we would not need a healthcare reform bill. The best way I could sum up this whole paper is by saying we as Americans more than ever must do something about the growth of obesity in our children. We must do more than just talk, we must be concerned enough to act.
Works cited Petrini, Carlio. Excerpt from Slow Food: The Case Taste. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Print. Carlson, Nicole. “PREVENT CHILDHOOD OBESITY. ” Charityguide. org. N. P. , 2005-2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. Collins, Anne. “Food Portion Sizes. ” Annecollins. com. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. “Overweight in Children. ” Americanheart. org. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. Raloff, Janet. Inflammatory Fat: Unraveling the Injurious Biology of Obesity. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Print. Schlosser, Eric. Food Product Design. Boston: Pearson, 2010. Print.