Hot mess

My little cousin (a junior in high school, unfortunately) asked me to edit his paper for him…I didn’t even know where to begin. Perhaps by wiping my tears away?

According to Janice Shaw Crouse, “In the past three decades the rate of American children who are either overweight or obese increased by 300 percent.” Childhood obesity is one of the biggest concerns in our society today. Childhood obesity starts off with everything around the children such as, school lunches, fast food restaurants, and also what they have at home. Parents are not to blame for this issue. The blame for this issue is the fast food industries and the government.

Fast food chains spend more than three million dollars a year on television advertising that targets children (Shaw Crouse). These advertisements include cartoon characters to interest child. Children just want to eat what they think is cool, these advertisements get their attention. Half of all advertising on children’s shows is food advertising (Shaw Crouse). There are so many negatives
on childhood obesity and not enough positives, so how could you blame parents?

Children are getting less exercise daily and watching more television. In many communities, many schools have even taken away recess time and physical exercise outside (Shaw Crouse).  The less exercise these kids get the more they will gain weight. Kids will get use to the fact of eating bad and playing video games, that can lead to many other things like not doing their homework which is very important. Government system is also to blame. They are forcing schools to choose a nonprofit
organization to improve schools meals and nutrition (Bornstein). The problem with this is that schools will go into debt, or allow unhealthy options and generate revenue. “Schools loose money everyday because it costs more money to prepare meals than the reimbursement they get from the federal government,” Donald Schumacher said, the medical director for the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine. Schools can raise prices of course, but this might result in fewer kids buying
nutritionally balanced lunches. This defeats the purpose of advertising healthy eating. Unhealthy foods are cheaper than the healthier foods so the school makes more money (Wilson).

In 1955, Dr. Marc Jacobson who sits on the American Acadmeny of Pediatrics Obesity leadership work groups said, McDonald’s fries were 210 calories but the large portions more often consumed today are 500. A coke was 6.5 ounces, versus 20 ounces in today’s plastic bottle. No wonder, he said, that U.S. kids have an obesity rate of 15 percent, and that another 15 percent are over weight (Jacobson). Parents have no say in this type of things. They can be to busy working their butts off to be focused on their kids that’s why they are not to blame for anything. “Trying to control a teenager- that’s trying to knock down a solid brick wall with your bare hands” Childhood obesity lawyer Grant
Varner stated. The main source is all that is happening to these kids are the advertising and the television. Should the government do something about this? How can they do something to stop all the bad television commercials? They can sue any of the televisions networks that advertise unhealthy foods and start putting healthy foods as an alternative to these commercials.

One thought to “Hot mess”

  1. I appreciate your post. I write a health and fitness column for The Michigan Daily, and my most recent one discusses how technology discourages exercise in young children (and anyone, really, for that matter): http://www.michigandaily.com/arts/03health-and-fitness-column-121

    And while I agree that the food industry is placing profit over ethics; that’s the business. If they don’t sell their products, they don’t make money. Trust me, I am the first person to agree; I don’t know how those people who promote sugar-caked, MSG-packed, hydrogenated oil-filled junk sleep at night, but its their job to market, promote and, ultimately, sell the stuff.

    I also agree that school systems need to step in and offer better options for their students. Have you ever watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? I would definitely check it out if this is something you’re passionate about. It’s an unbelievable depiction of the tragedy of obesity and food addiction, and evidence that school can implement a better system. Oliver also gives a GREAT TED talk about the issue that involves wheel barrels of sugar cubes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go_QOzc79Uc

    But I must say, parents play an important role too. I grew up with a mother who fed me and my sister what “tasted good” rather than things that what was actually “good” for us, so I grew up with terrible eatings habits, which have been nearly impossible to break. Our youth is a crucial age, as we begin to learn about the world and form habits, nutrition is off utmost importance. If you think about it, even teaching our children that the way to celebrate an A on a test or scoring a goal in a soccer game is by going out for ice cream? We’ll sending the message that food is a reward. Let’s just say I have a much different plan in store if I ever have kids.

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