This I Believe

Gary - Bowling Green, Kentucky
Entered on December 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children, illness

One of the biggest controversies of this generation is child obesity. It’s one of the fastest growing epidemics in the United States, and it needs to be dealt with soon. It may sound harsh, but we are becoming an increasingly fat nation. Right now, there are tens of millions of children that are either obese or overweight. We as teachers, parents, and responsible adults, we need to step up to the plate and take control of this game. The first step towards fixing this problem is targeting the future of this nation, our children of course.

The statistics of child obesity has deeply risen since the 80’s. It was at a mere 4% of all children who were obese in 1980, and now it has increased to over 50%. That’s just for the United States alone. For hospital costs associated with child obesity, it has risen from $35 million in 1979 to a whopping $150 million to this current date. These numbers don’t stop there either. Until we start to really do something, they will continue to rise more rapidly than ever before.

Another reason as to why we should make an effort to slow down the increasing numbers is diseases that are associated with child obesity. Currently, new studies have shown that one in four obese children is already showing signs of type II diabetes. Of all children that are diagnosed with type II diabetes, nearly 85% of them are either considered to be obese or overweight. Other than diabetes, 60% of obese children are also already prone to risk of heart disease and may expect to have heart problems later in life. These are only one of the few risk factors associated with obesity in children.

We as responsible adults need to make a stronger effort towards creating a healthy lifestyle for our children. If we continue to let our children live the way they are currently living, there will be no end to this. Already our government and legislature have created regulations on nutritional guidelines throughout the schools in the United States. In my opinion, this is not enough. We need to take effort in the places where it is most effective, in our own homes as parents. I’m not a father of my own children, but I am an uncle of five billion children! Hehe. I’m highly conscious of their diet and their overall well-being and I continuously guide them towards having a healthy and fun childhood. The point I’m trying to make is that we as parents and teachers need to put more effort and guide our children to make better and healthier decisions.

If our children are the future of this world, then we need to show and guide them of what is best for this nation. If we do not teach them now, who’s to say they won’t teach their own children towards having a healthy lifestyle. The time is now to start making drastic improvements within our children. Let’s not let obesity and the diseases associated with this epidemic be the downfall of this nation. If you want to start making an effort, the best place to start is within your own home.