Obesity – Essay Example

Jamie C. Kemper 10 October, Bailey Portfolio Journals Obesity The average American is faced with a daily bombardment of challenges contradictory to staying healthy and fit. And, according to the data from the Center for Disease Control we are losing. It is suggested that 66% of Americans are suffering from obesity. Obesity is defined as body weight more than 20% higher than the average weight for a person of a given age and height (Feldman, 2010, p.202). Obesity is itself not a disease, but it starts the ripple effect to even greater health risks. Obesity has long been known to cause or attribute to more serious health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels just to mention a few. Such metabolic tendencies are developed in infancy, thus making it essential to plan the diets of babies (Evan Charney et al., 1976).
In our fast paced lives we have let ourselves become a society of convenience and are now paying the price for it. That payment comes not just in the form of dollars as medical costs attributed to obesity and its associated problems but more importantly our health and our lives. And unfortunately, our children are paying the cost as well as childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions over the last decade. Among many causes of obesity, it has been observed that kids in preschool do not need as much nutrients as infants. Parents usually force children to eat more to cover up this loss of appetite, leading to obesity. Also, a high rate of use of medicinal drugs has led to obesity in children. At very early ages, kids develop unusual eating habits. This is fine, but then parents fail to maintain a balanced diet as a result of this. This leads to a lot of unnecessary fats deposition and heavy eating habits carried into adulthood (Feldman, 2010, p.202).
This is a price that we can’t afford to pay. It is far too easy to run through the drive thru, swipe your card through a vending machine or grab a quick 500 calorie latte on the way to work. Or maybe just sit down to a single restaurant plate that contains more calories in a single meal than one should consume on a daily basis. With the “super size me” mentality we have adopted portion control has left the building. And although observance of caloric intake serves as the foundation to weight control, just calories in and out alone is not the answer. Obesity is not the only enemy but only part of the equation. The ripple effect of health concerns spawned by obesity just complicate the problem further.
To cure this at an early age, children’s diet should be balanced with vegetables; by the way French fries are not a vegetable, and other foods with low fat and high nutrition. Parents should try to develop diverse eating habits in their kids. That doesn’t mean try a new drive thru every other night. For newborns specially, the Vitamin K and Calcium intake should be increased. Such steps can help address our nation’s obesity problems (Evan Charney et al., 1976). What you put into their bodies and the examples you set are seeds that you are sowing. Your harvest will come in the form of a health child’s body, a healthy mind and a lifetime of good healthy habits.
References
Feldman, R. (2010). Development across the life span. (6th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Evan Charney, M.D., Helen Chamblee Goodman, R.N., M.P.H., Margaret McBride, M.D., Barbro Lyon, B.A., Rosalie Pratt, B.A., Burtis Breese, M.D., Frank Disney, M.D., and Kurt Marx, M.D., 1976. Childhood Antecedents of Adult Obesity — Do Chubby Infants Become Obese Adults? The New England Journal of Medicine.