How Fast Food Affects Child Obesity

Obesity has become and increasing problem in the United States for the past few years. Not only has it affected adults but now children at an alarming rate. Fast food is the cause of a lot of overweight children and needs to be addressed immediately.
According to CBS news, billions of dollars each year are spent buying fast food. Parents have become lazy when it comes to providing their children with basic essential nutrients. I feel as though children are becoming more overweight because they’re eating very fattening foods and not having any extracurricular activities. Schools must become more aware of the situation and make physical education a priority. If certain schools don’t enforce physical education then the parents have to involve their children in after school activities.
CBS news expresses concern that children are becoming more prone to serious health risks and life altering illnesses because of obesity. Fast foods are filled with high doses of sugar, fats, starch and salts which are served in large portions. Rutuja Jathar feels consumers are tricked by fast food companies because of their low prices but evidently are paying a high price when it comes to their health. I have seen documentaries and reality shows such as supersize me, fast food nation and the future of food which talk about overweight children and adults who are constantly eating fatty foods and drinking large amounts of soda every day. Parents do not realize the amount of damage they are causing and potentially leading their child to death.

I believe that children who are overweight are not only affected physically but emotionally and mentally. Based on personal experiences children who have been overweight for majority of their lives are more likely to become depressed, teased and may lead to other dangerous routes such as suicide. To support my statement an article called “Childhood Obesity: Effects on your Child” says being overweight can cause low self esteem, behavior and learning problems, stress and anxiety, comfort eating and depression. They become very self conscious and shy because they feel as though people will look at them differently due to their weight.
Children who are obese are not to blame; it’s the parents who are at fault. A child only does what their parents allow them to do. Children do not have money to go out and buy these foods for their selves; their parents to do it. Parents need to become more responsible when it comes to what their children are eating. A child does not know any better but their parents do.
According to Rutuja Jathar’s article studies show that boys and girls between the ages of four and nineteen eat fast food on a regular basis. That would includes fattening foods not just from McDonalds but from restaurants such as Friday’s, Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory, etc. It is my belief that parents are enabling their children to live unhealthy lives which will lead them on a path of never ending health issues. Also children are still growing so they need the essential vitamins to help with their growth.
An article posted by Michael Adams say that statistics are showing that between 10% and 15% of children within the United States are overweight and does not include the ones who are at risk of becoming overweight. He also discusses other factors that contribute to children being overweight such as television, video games and advertising. Interesting enough he talks about most parents living hectic lives so in many cases they don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal and therefore resort to fast food. It continues saying the bad part about it is that parents who have that hectic lifestyle end up making it an everyday routine where their children are eating fast food. Adams makes an important point stating that if a child wants a double cheese burger, a large order of fries and coke that child will end up consuming 1340 calories and 53 grams of fat in one meal. Adults are to consume 2,000 calories a day and children less than that. Basically what Adams is trying to say is children are eating a whole days worth of calories and fat in one meal.
To relieve this crisis parents can look at more creative ways of serving their kids healthier food. Rutuja Jathar says that fast food doesn’t make a child full, but because of the high amount of starch in the servings they will only become hungrier. As a result they will acquire more weight. An idea that parents can use to get their kids eating healthier is to make them involved with preparing their own meals. This way kids will be more motivated to eat the healthier choice and will feel a sense of accomplishment. Instead of frying the foods try to use healthier methods of cooking such as baking and broiling. Also like I stated earlier getting children involved in extracurricular activities will help kids burn off the carbohydrates and fat.
To conclude child obesity is becoming an increasing issue. Children who are growing up in today’s society who are obese are most likely to be obese into adulthood. We have to stop making excuses as to why this problem is what it is. These children are not adding value to their lives and can die at such young ages. Fast food plays a large role in the amount of overweight children but it is not to blame. Parents are responsible for the livelihood of their children and must do better. Doctors must do better also when it comes to educating parents about the important nutrients and foods their children need stay healthy. Our society needs to encourage kids to become more active and choose healthier eating habits. The children are our future and without them there wouldn’t be one.

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