This I Believe

Katherine - Dearborn, Michigan
Entered on December 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: illness

Child Obesity

By Katherine Lieblang

Imagine a hospital full of people hooked up to machines, suffering… You try to turn away but cannot find it in your heart. A disease that could have been prevented is behind this.

Type 2 diabetes and much more are effects of obesity. Children may not realize that their oh-so-fatty-sugary-and-salty diets and their forget-about-playing-outside-I’ve-got-my-Xbox activity really can catch up to them in later years. It’s okay to eat fats and sugars, just in small amounts at a time. A limit of time put on video games, computer games and television should also be placed. If parents don’t strive to feed their children healthy foods and engage them in physical activity, this epidemic will only spread farther and wider across the U.S.

Childhood obesity can cause not only Type 2 diabetes, but cause other negative health effects as well, such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep disorders, liver disease, heart disease and blood clots that can carry into adulthood. It may be right to say that nobody would like to go through these problems but that, unfortunately, is reality for some people.

There can be growth and development problems. For example, eating disorders, skin infections and early puberty are some problems obese children face.

Negative psychological effects envelop children, like a darkness clawing at them, due to being teased about their weight. They are most likely sick of hearing, “Fat kid, fat kid, fat kid!” This can cause low self esteem, depression and behavioral problems like low social skills and learning difficulties.

Fast food may be fast, cheap and easy, but can be hazardous to children’s health if eaten on a regular basis. These foods are high in fat, sodium, and sugar and are not rich in the nutrients kids need.

Instead of letting kids sit around, play video games all day and eat junk food, parents should strive to introduce their kids to a healthy lifestyle. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and lean meats are the foods that children should be fed. Kids also need to have some sort of exercise. Otherwise, they may end up with poor health later in their lives. They don’t have to look like models to be healthy and fit, they just have to have the right amount of diet and exercise and their bodies will take care of themselves.

Imagine if the adults in the hospital had eaten right and exercised enough, all the problems that could have been avoided from something so simple.

Imagine a hospital…