Monday, October 8, 2012

Childhood Obesity in America

It was really interesting to me when I checked the American Studies website, was Mr. Bolos’ blog post on is the issue of physical health and mental health. Even more specifically, the physical health issues in American children. I first started to learn about the rising obesity rates when I watched the documentary, Super Size Me, in one of my health classes. To learn more about this documentary, click on Super Size Me. It shocked me when I learned about the types of food the majority of children in the US were eating and the rising implications of that.  Because of rising food costs and gas costs, getting to a grocery store for some low-income families can be extremely difficult. Besides the fact of just getting to a store, the high prices of fruits and vegetables and quality meat can make these foods just not an option. For example, the other day I was in a Whole Foods market and decided to pick just one apple to eat before practice. The cost of this tiny apple was $1.77. Just for ONE apple. I was at a loss for words and it made me think even more about how families would just not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables like this.  The result of this is that many families might have to turn to fast food restaurants and packaged foods. These foods are high in carbohydrates and fats, and very low in nutritional value. Once in a while, fast food wouldn’t be harmful to someone’s overall health. But when growing children have to eat food like this three to five times a week, it can be extremely detrimental. 
This issue has been brought up nationally, from First Lady Michelle Obamas, “Let’s Move” campaign to even the military saying that we wont have enough fit and healthy recruits for the army if the obesity rates continue to rise. The “Let’s Move” campaign is focused on educating adults and even children on the consequences of obesity, how to eat healthier, and plans activities nation wide in support of children being active. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, “childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years” and nearly “1 in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese”. These numbers continue to shock me especially because I feel like where I live, these numbers don’t seem to add up. I have now began to wonder even more about the correlation between low-income families and obesity, and the access to grocery stores depending on where you live. Also what does it say about America and how we have let childhood obesity come so far? How come we have not taken more of an initiative to end this? What are some possible solutions to this problem? 

1 comment:

  1. Ariel, Nice job blogging in general this quarter. Here, you begin to pursue an important topic, but you can go much further by analyzing text. You offer some outside links -- which is nice -- but you do not yet analyze the language of those texts. Instead you tell a narrative about rising obesity rates that cannot come as news to your readers, can it? Can you relate the trend to American values elsewhere? Why has the First lady decided to make this her chief campaign? How successful has it been? What would you say to libertarians who think citizens should be left alone to make food choices?