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The Problem of Obesity in the Youth of America.

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Johan Cruyff Arts&Health 02-08-2010 Obesity for the youth When it comes to our children we would do anything for them. They are the reasons we work overtime, work multiple jobs and push ourselves to the limit. We make these sacrifices so we can provide them with the things we never had to show them how much we love and care for them. In the American culture; food is one of the most influential and abundant aspects in our lives. Our culture has used food as a tool for nurturing our children for many years. As the healthcare industry has evolved we are know able to see that this lifestyle has hindered our children and left other countries to develop a prejudice that Americans encourage their children to believe that being overweight or obese is okay. A prejudice is defined as "a distinguishing characteristic of a prejudice, as opposed to an ordinary opinion or belief, is that it reflects only the feelings within an individual, without regard to facts. This willful disregard of reality usually leads to the use of stereotypes, or oversimplified generalizations, about the group against which the prejudice is directed", (Funk and Wagnalls). ...read more.


Examples of these items are: breads, rice, pastas, potatoes, beans; when cooked these items can sustain a person for long time. As parents divide the food amongst everyone the portion given is greatly encouraged to be eaten completely. A familiar phrase can be heard often; "You will not get up from the table until you have eaten all of your food". There will be no wasting of food when parents work so hard to get it. We also use food to reward our children for good behavior or to show that we love and care for them by taking them to get a special treat. Creating these emotional associations with food is not only physically damaging but emotionally crippling. They learn to deal with emotions by satisfying their moods with food instead of discussing them. In society today we have grown into a tech savvy and fast food world where everything is done for us. Entertainment for children now is watching television, playing video games, playing on the computer and other sedentary forms of activities. Where do they get these examples of activities? ...read more.


Physical health problems are not the only effects from making unhealthy habits. "Obese children and adolescents have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, which can continue into adulthood", (CDC). "Many overweight children grow into their extra pounds as they get taller. Realize, too, that an intense focus on your child's eating habits and weight can easily backfire, leading a child to overeat even more, or possibly making him or her more prone to developing an eating disorder", (Mayo Clinic). How do we change centuries old ideals? As parents we have to learn to make healthier choices for ourselves. "Make sure you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to maintain your weight. Then, invite your child to join you. If you foster your child's natural inclination to run around, explore and eat only when hungry - not out of boredom - a healthy weight should take care of itself", (Mayo Clinic). Take your child to the doctor for well-child checkups at least once a year. It all starts with educating ourselves and following through. When our children see us making better choices and lifestyle changes they will absorb these ideals and pass them on to their children and future generations. ...read more.

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