Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. In fact, statistical data from the year 1980 to date show a more than double increase in obesity prevalence in America for children between the ages six to eleven. Even then obesity is still on an upward trend not only in the United States but also in other industrialized nations across the world. Obesity is associated with certain chronic diseases such as pediatric hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and sleep disorders and even depression. The risk of heart disease and diabetes is increased significantly when children mature into adulthood still obese.
In searching for the causes of this upward trend in obesity experts have pointed to a variety of factors. These include the growth and expansion of the fast food sector as well as the increase of access to sodas and sugary beverages in schools. There is also less physical activity classes in schools today. In the case of sugar, it’s been established through research that sugar is associated with weight gain. When children take in calories through the food they eat without an opportunity to burn those calories through increased activity weight gain will result. This applies even to adults. Anything the body can not expend will contribute to weight gain.
There is particularly an observation that research also made. Media has a role to play in the increasing trend of childhood obesity. Due to media most children are spending time afforest the television without doing any activities whatsoever. On the other hand, advertisements that are channeled by the media encourage children to eat foods that are extremely unhealthy. Even as children are watching the different TV programs they tend to snack away of unhealthy snacks and sugary sodas. Just as media played an important role in helping the tobacco industry take a grip of the market for decades, experts realize that the same has happened with obesity. Sadly most parents due to a busy lifestyle have surrendered their children to receive tutorship on basics of life including eating healthy to media.
Most experts in this area are agreeable that the causes if childhood obesity is complex and indeed multidimensional. As such effective prevention and treatment to halt this unprecedented trend will require a multifaceted approach. It is known that parents have an important role to play in teaching children healthy eating habits at a tender age. It is only then that children can pick up this pattern on their own and possibly sustain it through life even in adulthood. As for the role of media, policies are needed to once again clip the wings of media as has happened in the tobacco industry. Health is important and the cost is high on the entire economy when nothing is done to bring up healthier citizens. This justifies are legal backing to media control in as far as advertisements targeting children are concerned.