Throughthe last couple of decades, incidences of childhood obesity in the UShave increased threefold. There are a number of government and marketinadequacies which have had the biggest effect on rise in obesity inchildren trends that should be considered before explaining whyintervention in required and needed. Solutions that aim at dealingwith childhood obesity must concentrate on the learning environment,particularly in learning institutions. Elementary learning takesplace in a formative period for the growth of children in terms ofpreferences and tastes and has the most likelihood for success.
Obesityin children is developing into an epidemic in the US. Even though itappears that the main issue with obesity concerns externalappearances, the actual issue lies with the health problems that arelinked to it. Based on the CDC’ account, obesity causes heartdisease, hypertension, diabetes as well as stroke and various formsof cancer (CDC 2016).
ThesisStatement:Obesity can be found in people of different ages from two years tofifty and has been associated with everything including video gamesand computers, decline of family gatherings and large portions offood.
Technologycontinues to be among the main causes of obesity with the mediapromoting different kinds of obesity. Scientist are still unaware ofwhether sedentary characteristics of watching television, consumptionof junk food while watching television, advertisements or a blend ofall of them promote obesity. Without a doubt, obesity rates are loweramong the children who do not spend a lot of time in front of thetelevision and higher in those who watch television for prolongedperiods. Each day, this sedentary form of entertainment and unhealthydiets is slowly killing children all over the globe.
Thefact that children sit and watch television the whole day means thatthey are exposed to numerous food commercials which promote eating ofjunk foods that ultimately results in obesity. Those who spend a lotof time watching television greatly increase their risks for gettingobesity. Rather sending a child who is overweight to play and run,their adult guardians allow them to eat while sitting in front of thetelevision. Parents use homework as an excuse and argue that theirchildren lack time for exercising thus increasing their weight. Theblend of television and homework, together with low activities isprincipal cause of obesity as a consequence of the lack of physicalactivity and high caloric intake.
Inthe event that a child ate food that was directly proportional tothat advertised on television, it would be comprised of mainly fatsand sugars and would be significantly different from recommendationsof the American Medical Association. In the US, kids watch almost tenfood advertisements in each sixty minutes they watch TV. Theseadvertisements are about completely promoting soft drinks, fast food,sugar cereal and sweets. Further, after being exposed to foodadvertisements for half a minute, the children have a higherlikelihood of picking the food that had been advertised later whenoffered a chance to decide what they want to eat. This implies thatconsumers shift their eating patterns to some extent on the basis ofadvertisements.
Inthe period that obesity in children has increased twofold,advertisements targeting children have also significantly increased.There is therefore a positive correlation between watching televisionand sedentary conduct with the onset of obesity and consequentlydiabetes. Further, children who watch a lot of television tend to beheavier than those who are more active. There is also a negativeconnection between consuming vegetables and fruits and eating mealswhile at the same time being glued to the television. Children whohave their meals while watching television are associated with dietsthat are less nutritious in comparison to those who do not.
Itremains disturbing to note that children who are obese areexperiencing various severe diseases associated with obesity,majority of which were initially considered to be solely adult healthproblems. There are several cardiovascular issues like high bloodpressure, increased clotting of blood and dyslipidaemia, which havebeen contributing to lesions and coronary arteriosclerosis (Eberstadt2003). Additionally, children who are overweight have higherlikelihoods of heart diseases when they become adults and theirchances of suffering Type 2 diabetes are alarmingly high particularlyconsidering that this condition was never seen in adolescents untilthe recent past. Further, diseases that are less harmful, likeexercise intolerance, asthma, sleep apnea, various self esteem issuesand eating disorders have also been considered to correlate withobesity in children and harm the welfare and development of children.Such health issues underscore the undesirable externalities linkedwith obesity in children.
Eventhough numerous factors can be blamed for obesity in children, it ischallenging to distinguish them and identify those that contributethe most. Under normal circumstances, models and studies in economymake the assumption of customer rationality. Nevertheless, kids arenot considered as consumers who are rational by majority of economicexperts since their cognitive capacity has not achieved completedevelopment (Cawley 2006). The result is a situation where theproblem of childhood obesity develops into a societal and publicissue. It is impossible to make the assumption that children,particularly young ones, are obese simply because of their personalchoices in contrast to the case of adults. The issue of obesity inchildrenhas been escalated by inadequacies in markets includingasymmetry of information along with undesirable externalities linkedto consumption high sugar and high fat foods. Further failures bythe government in terms of welfare legislation, together with foodsubsidies have further aggravated the issue.
Itis also important to note that the public does not recognize obesityin kids as a continual health issue and a broadly held opinion isthat corpulence is a subject associated with self-control. Someobstacles to health practitioners assisting in solving the issueinclude lack of funding from insurance companies, lack for time onthe part of physicians in regards to the health issue being long termand unavailability of data that documents the effectiveness ofpediatricians in dealing with obesity (Riggs 1998, 1-16). Someresearchers consider pediatricians as possibly the most effectivetherapists and coaches in providing the community with information onissue of dealing with obesity in young populations and shouldtherefore be part of the solution.
Throughthe time that childhood obesity has been increasing considerably, theamount of foods laden with calories accessible to kids hasdrastically augmented. Most of the learners in secondary school canget to vending machines as more than eighty percent of schools havesome form of funding with brand names. Such forms of agreementsconcentrate on promotion of unhealthful products to viewers that areimpressionable, young and captive. Different researches haveconvincingly linked the intake of soda with obesity and there is asignificantly higher intake of calories in children who take softdrinks compared to the ones that do not. Drinking soda results innumerous empty calories being consumed everyday and children who takesodas on a regular basis usually have considerably lower consumptionsof fresh juice and milk.
Consequently,the degree of exercise is linked to weight gain to some extent andunsurprisingly, exercise has a negative correlation to diabetes andobesity. Each time an individual spends standing assists in dealingwith diabetes and obesity. In the period that childhood obesity hasbeen on the increase, the time children have been living a sedentarylife has been on the increase. Rather than playing outdoors, theyoung ones waste their time engaged with video games and glued to TVswith the largest correlate to the activities of the children beingthe time they spend active. Furthermore, studies have demonstratedthat accessibility to safe workout environments allows people to workout more. This may be simply because individual who enjoy exercisingensure that they live in areas that are exercise-friendly, but thereis no likelihood that this provides an explanation of the entirerelationship. Through the past two decades, costs of exercising haverisen in comparison to costs of consumption therefore, theopportunity cost of exercising is the period spent making more money.As actual remuneration has been rising, the opportunity cost hasconsequently been increasing and thus incentives for exercising havedecreased. Possibly, the government must consider providing taxcredit to individuals enrolling in health memberships or provideinducement to different estates in order to provide areas wherechildren can play safely.
Ultimately,there are numerous causes of obesity in children which has beendeveloping in the US through the last three decades. Variousgovernment and market failures have been contributing to the issue ofobesity and a consequent social welfare loss emanates fromover-allocating the meager resources of the society to food ladenwith sugars and fats. It is obvious that obesity in children is notan issue that is completely individualized, especially consideringthat the society is supposed to bear most of the burden makinginterventions through public policies the most appropriate solution.Obesity in children is a complex issue with numerous causes, and eventhough there are areas where it is possible to make improvements,with the political position concerned with big food in the US,education remains the ultimate and most meaning area for creation ofchange.
Thesociety bears most of the costs associated with obesity through arise in the cost of healthcare as a consequence of the co-morbiditieslinked to the problem. Considering the prevailing crisis as far ashealthcare is concerned, the United States is not in a positiondisregard the obesity trends. Even though cost benefit analysis andrelative reduced costs of the programs initiated in schools may becomplicated to achieve in a simple program, the two approaches wouldvery valuable for research in future when seeking to deal with theissue of obesity. In the event that investigations in the futurefound that such initiatives or others that resemble them greatlyreduce the costs of dealing with obesity in children, then possiblythe US should seek and enact laws that will make them compulsory inlearning institutions, especially primary school.
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CDC(2016). ChildhoodOverweight and Obesity | Overweight & Obesity |.Cdc.gov.Retrieved 20 July 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/
Eberstadt,Mary. (2003). "The Child-Fat Problem." TheHoover Institution Policy Reviewno. 117: 1-1-10,http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/3449856.html.
Riggs,Joseph A. (1998). Obesityas a Major Public Health Problem.Young Physicians Meeting: Council of Scientific Affairs.