Child and Adolescent Obesity in the USA

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In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s. There are many reasons for this increase, but the most impactful causes are usage of modern technology, unhealthy eating patterns, and lack of exercise. Although there are many ways young children can prevent obesity, they still continue with unhealthy habits. Many kids would rather stay home and play video games than go on a hike, play outside, or run around with their friends. Changing a diet or being physically active for 60 minutes a day, can change the a child’s life style that could impact them later years with a healthy lifestyle as adults..

First, the advances in technology is affecting the unhealthy over weight of the youths. Excessive television watching and being on social media causing a sedentary lifestyle has been a major issue. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they have estimated that the average child spends upwards of seven hours watching television, browsing the Internet and playing video games each day. Young adults who watch a great deal of television and don’t exercise, may start to experience the effects of unhealthy habits resulting in loss of memory, difficulty problem solving, and retraction for social activities as early as midlife. In addition, many children are addicted to video games. Not only can this create vision problems, but also it is taking up valuable time from cardiovascular exercise. They spend so much time on video games it’s unbelievable! Gaming has been becoming bigger more and more everyday because of battle royale and shooting games available, which brought 100s of millions of gamers. It also resulted in children becoming addicted easily because trying to win the game.

Many youngsters stopped hanging out with family, skip eating a regular and balance meal, and as a result gained weight. To wrap up on how technology made ⅔ of children lazy, commercials advertising delicious junk foods are incorporated into their diet. The advertising has a big impact on people because watching a short clip of a McDonald’s meal can “flip the switch” and make an adolescents mood change to devour one or two burgers. According to a report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2008, 9 out of 10 food advertisements shown during Saturday morning children’s programming are low-nutrient foods that are high in fat, sodium and added sugars. This is unacceptable, these child focused programs should stress eating a healthy meal and balanced lifestyle lead to a happier and healthy future.

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Next, unhealthy eating patterns can affect the health and body of a person. Processed foods are anything that has no nutritional value. They mainly consist salt, sugar, fat and preservatives – all of which create a combination of different sensations in the mouth. The brain is involved as well, too. “Foods that rapidly vanish or ‘melt in the mouth’ signal to the brain that the person isn’t eating as much as they actually are.”-Shayna Komar. In other words, these foods literally tell the brain that the eater is not full and in need for more food. It sounds fine, but it’s not fueling the body. It is burdening it to work very hard to metabolize junk food. Cheap and quick fast-food restaurants is another reason why kids are eating unhealthy. Processed foods have extra salt, sugar, fat and preservatives, which are a lead reason why people get heart disease and obesity. Our society can help prevent the amount of people buying these deadly foods by lowering the price of healthy alternatives. It’s nearly impossible to find a salad that is cheaper than a burger at McDonald’s. In addition, fast food is all over America, having more than 200,000 buildings serving these foods. If healthy eating was around the same price of these foods, a lot more people would join the healthy side. Lastly, are the big portions of high fat foods during dinner. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t balance out what they eat.

Alissa Rumsey says that greasy or high-fat meals ‘will digest slower and can cause issues with reflux or heartburn.’ Also, eating a big dinner should be reduced because minimal calories are burned after in the evening, especially eating late. Therefore, weight gaining is the result. The final topic that needs to be discussed is lack of exercise. Many kids and adolescents start to lose the excitement and the energy to shoot hoops, run, and workout. As doing physical activities decreased dramatically over the years, going on the internet, social media and playing video games increased at the same rate. Lets face it, nobody in this world is perfect, most Americans have an unhealthy habit or craving. Majority of the youngsters can’t control the urge to play games all day or go on social media. There is a public study that if a person does a muscular strength workout (lifting weights) one hour each week, it can reduce the risk of getting a heart disease by 70%.

Another reason why kids are lazy is because of playing games on the internet and talking to friends on the phone. It’s not a bad idea to talk on the phone with a friend, but there’s a better alternative choice. Doing fun activities like going ice-skating can benefit the health of a person and burn more calories. Plus, the exercise is enjoyable and fun, as well. Friends have a huge influence on decision making whether it’s positive or negative. If many friends made a switch and decided to workout an hour every other day, chances are high of an adolescent would tag along and join. The last thing to be covered about exercise is the excuse making. The most common excuse is “ I don’t have enough time,” but really adding all the time surfing the web and watching television, surely there is enough time. In addition, many people say the gym is ‘too expensive’, but what about doing squats, planks, or yoga at home. One can satisfy the internet addition exercising along with YouTube videos. Additional workouts like these only require the person workout without driving or purchasing equipment.

Therefore, this concept is a quick and cost effective way to stay healthy while using things a person already has around the house. In conclusion, obesity is a problem and can be reduced. In the United States, majority of the population is overweight. There are many reasons for this, but sedentary lifestyle caused by increased technology, unhealthy eating patterns, and lack of exercise are things that can be easily changed with a little effort and change in behavior. Being motivated and inspired to get up and put in the work for a summer body is worth it in the long run.

References

  1. Boyers, Lindsay. “Obesity in Children and Technology.”
  2. Lindsay Boyersn.d. NaN. https://www.livestrong.com/article/561008-the-physical-impact-of-technology-on-childre n/?ajax=1&is=1.
  3. Gavin, Mary, ed. “Kids Health.” Mary L.Gavinn.d. NaN. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/exercise.html
  4. Jaaskelainen, Liisa . “Fast Food Industry – Statistics & Facts.”
  5. Liisa Jaaskelainen. 2016. ://www.statista.com/topics/863/fast-food/
  6. Kofman, Jamie. Acid Reflux in Children: How Healthy Eating Can Fix Your Child’s Asthma, Allergies, Obesity, Nasal Congestions, Cough and Group. New York: Jamie Kofman2018
  7. Smith, Melinda. “Childhood Obesity and Weight Problems.” Melinda Smith, M.A. and Lawrence Robinsonn.d. NaN. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diets/childhood-obesity-and-weight-problems.htm.
  8. Unknown, Unknown. “Why Is Junk Food so Addictive?” Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness. 2018. https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/why-is-junk-food-so-addictiv

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Child and Adolescent Obesity in the USA. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/child-and-adolescent-obesity-in-the-usa/
“Child and Adolescent Obesity in the USA.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/child-and-adolescent-obesity-in-the-usa/
Child and Adolescent Obesity in the USA. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/child-and-adolescent-obesity-in-the-usa/> [Accessed 8 Aug. 2022].
Child and Adolescent Obesity in the USA [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Aug 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/child-and-adolescent-obesity-in-the-usa/
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