Sunday, March 14, 2010

Childhood obesity

This is serious topic number two and it should get lighter from here. OK. Let's go! It's no question that our country has an obesity problem. From the kids to the adults. I want to look at the kids. I guess some would ask "why?" but it's not really that hard to figure out. The kids today are obese because they don't get exercise, they have horrible eating habits and because their parents are obese. There I go talking about parents again, but I hope that through these post you start to see how much influence parents have on their kids. So let's dissect this piece by piece.

1.) Not enough exercise. Most kids that are obese don't get enough exercise. Well let's look where they are most of the time....at school. Well shouldn't they be out at recess? No, that has been taken out of most schools so that there is time for test prep. Well don't they get exercise in gym class? No, most schools have reduced the time of their gym classes so that kids have more "instructional time" - test prep. Also, most schools allow students not to participate in any physical activities with a note from the parents. So we're back to the parents. I'm not sure why they do it, but the parents let the kids not exercise at school, so I'm almost convinced they're not getting it at home either, so there is where the issues come in. The schools aren't being allowed to provide students with exercise because they have to get kids ready for the test and the parents are allowing the kids to sit and be sedentary. These two are part of the obesity problem. The next part is the biggie in my mind-nutrition.

2.) When you look at what our kids are eating it's really sad, but what's more unfortunate is that it's cheaper to eat unhealthy than it is to eat healthy in most cases. In some places, healthy choices are just plain hard to find. It's usually in poorer areas where the healthy choices are the hardest to find and these are usually the people suffering from the most dietary diseases. I guess it's like the question of the chicken or the egg. Do poor areas not have healthy choices because they don't want or use them or are there no healthy options because they can't afford them? who really knows. Back to the topic, in the school setting, schools are able to regulate what they serve and because they serve such a large population they get food at cheaper prices. The problem is that they still go with the lowest bidder which is the most unhealthy slop that is available. Instead of paying a few dollars more for something that will actually have some kind of nutritional value. I think districts should be more mindful of what they offer as food to the students since they are not allowing them to get the amount of activity that they need. Again, if they look at the research it shows that schools with healthy lunch programs have less discipline problems and better scores. Why they don't latch on to that research is still beyond me.

3.)Parental obesity- Since this is about childhood obesity I'm not going to say much about the parents except this "If the parents are obese, then the children will more than likely be obese."

For any parents or students reading this, I urge you to go to your local school board and push for a better school lunch program. This will not only help with the health of your child, but with their overall education. Well, that's what research shows... Feel free to comment. Take care!
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