America and the Problem of Obesity Essay

Poor eating habits have become a daily part of the lifestyle of several Americans. These habits do not just come in the form of the lack of intake of food on a regular basis. Oftentimes, the excessive intake of food can almost certainly lead to a heavier weight than normal. Moreover, the excessive intake of fatty food is almost an assurance that a person will be gaining weight from fat which is especially true for those who rarely exercise.

Regular intake of junk food high in cholesterol and fat in high quantities coupled with a sedentary lifestyle extends a person’s risk of becoming overweight. Worse comes to worst, an individual can become obese. Obesity is health condition where a person has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30. A person’s BMI can be computed by dividing the person’s body weight with the square of the person’s height. At present, there is an estimated 12. million children in America who are overweight and are at a higher risk of becoming obese (“Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative: Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future”). If left unattended, America might soon become home to millions of obese adults whose health conditions are facing serious risks of medical complications from diabetes mellitus to heart ailments. There is an urgent need to reassess the eating habits of American children these days and to reintegrate good nutrition in their lifestyle.

Despite the fact that most children remain highly active due to their age and to their constant socialization with peers, poor eating habits can stand in their way of obtaining a healthy body. According to an earlier testimony from the Surgeon General, close to two out of three Americans are either overweight or obese and one out of eight deaths in the U. S. is attributed to obesity or overweight (Carmona). These disturbing observations from the Office of the Surgeon General only indicate that today’s obese children may soon face the same fate.

It is imperative to make a collective action to prevent obesity from taking its toll on children who are on the verge of becoming overweight. There is also a wide agreement in the academic field that obesity causes young people to develop “serious psychosocial burdens” as a result of “social stigmatization associated with obesity” (“Focus on Childhood Obesity”). Overweight children usually become an easy target for children of the same age to tease and call “names”.

Common labels such as “fat” and “pig” can hurt the emotions of overweight children which can lead to low self-esteem. Sometimes, children given with such labels tend to shy away from their peers and find comfort from solitude. These children eventually tend to avoid socializing with others as much as possible due to the fear of rejection. There are a number of simple steps that can be done in order to prevent childhood obesity from spreading throughout America.

According to a health report from the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, there is a simple concept that can be adopted in order to lose weight the natural way: eat one less while doing more (“Obesity”). In the concept, people are encouraged to consume less amount of food than what they usually take while doing more physical activities than normal. Everyday physical activities such as walking, running and climbing up and down the stairs can be effective ways to decrease body weight when done on a regular basis.

Eating a few servings less than normal consumption of food can also help decrease a person’s body mass index. A nutritional food guide is also a beneficial tool in keeping track of a person’s eating habits and health progress. Since most children are still under the watchful guidance of their parents, they can more readily adapt to the concept. Parents can encourage their children to become physically active not only in terms of playing but also in ordinary daily routines such as walking and jogging.

In order to instill in their children’s minds the benefits of healthy eating in controlled amounts, parents are also prompted to eat together with their children. Doing so can assure parents that their children are eating appropriately while teaching their children proper diet or the right eating habits appropriate for their age. In cases where children are already experiencing obesity, parents should seek professional medical assistance the soonest time possible in order to determine the necessary health measures needed to get their children back to having a healthy body condition.

It may involve certain medications and regular visits to the doctor. In some extreme childhood obesity cases, surgical procedures may be required in order to alleviate the worsening health condition of the child. It is therefore important to attend to the health needs of children as soon as possible so that complicated health medications and procedures will not become a future option. Apart from seeking medical aid, parents should also try not to put down the feelings of the child due to weight problems.

Parents should not coerce their children to eat less and become more active because these things can only stiffen the attitude of their children. Rather, parents should promote their children’s self-esteem despite their health condition. Parents should let their children act and feel as how a normal child would do so that they will not feel “different” from the rest of their peers. Doing so can help children attain a positive outlook, thereby making them feel that all is not lost yet and that something can still be done to reverse obesity.