Arguing Cause Matraca Mckay

writers memo:

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: The research itself was the interesting part.
This part was surprisingly difficult: Getting useful information that I wanted to put into my paper was the tricky part. It was also hard for me to add information around my quotes because I did not want to sound opinionated.
Next time I would do this differently: Next time I would give myself more time do proof read my paper.

Obesity in Children is a Growing Problem

"Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years"("Childhood Obesity Facts"). Clearly this is a growing problem that needs to be resolved. Children are not getting enough physical activity and are eating way more then they need to. There is a balance to a healthy lifestyle that simply has disappeared in most adolescent's lives. There are many different aspects that contribute to the growing obesity problem, but the lifestyle and the environment these young children are growing up in are the biggest contributions.

The lifestyle children have is one of the leading factors to childhood obesity. Children are not getting enough exercise nor are they eating healthy foods. Most children now a days would rather play video games, than they would want to go outside and play. "Children see up to 10,000 food commercials every year. Most of these are for candy, fast food, soft drinks, and sugared cereals"(Kaneshiro, Neil K). Sadly, this fact is true and unfortunate. Watching TV and playing video games is not a healthy lifestyle to have. While watching all these adds it leads to temptations and cravings for food, and when we start to get cravings we want that unhealthy food, and a lot of it.

"Much of what we eat is quick and easy — from fat-laden fast food to microwave and prepackaged meals. Daily schedules are so jam-packed that there's little time to prepare healthier meals or to squeeze in some exercise. Portion sizes, in the home and out, have grown greatly. Plus, now more than ever life is sedentary — kids spend more time playing with electronic devices, from computers to handheld video game systems, than actively playing outside. Television is a major culprit" ("Overweight and Obesity").

Families are always on the go. Whether its going to school, work, sports, meetings, or what ever it may be, the lifestyle busy families live is unhealthy. Grabbing some McDonald's because it is quick, easy and cheap on a weekly basis is a major contributor to the lifestyle of obese (maybe just 'obesity of') children. Today, going through a drive-through things (maybe 'food from a drive-through are'_ typically are super-sized; sometimes if you don't specify what size you want they will automatically charge you for a large and that's what you get. The large is the new medium. With these super-sized meal options, the larger portion sizes are leading to overeating. "Overeating is a habit that is reinforced by restaurants that advertise high-calorie foods and large portion sizes (Kaneshiro, Neil K). When restaurants are giving you large portions of food they are demonstrating un-rational proportion sizes. When a person eats that much food at a restaurant they think they need to eat that much food at home as well. This ties in with the quote above that portion sizes, in home and out, have grown so much! (this last sentence is a little awkward — think about rephrasing this)

"Average portion sizes have grown so much over the past 20 years that sometimes the plate arrives and there's enough food for two or even three people on it. Growing portion sizes are changing what Americans think of as a "normal" portion at home too. We call it portion distortion"("Serving Sizes and Portions").

Chart above from ("Serving Sizes and Portions").
In the graph above , present day being from 2013, though it only lists a few, it (the National Institute of Health) shows that portion sizes have in fact increased by almost half of what they use to be (50%??).

From school lunch rooms, vending machines, mall food courts, and endless food chains, children are surrounded by an environment full of unhealthy food choices.

"About 55 million school-aged children are enrolled in schools across the United States,1 and many eat and drink meals and snacks there. Yet, more than half of U.S. middle and high schools still offer sugary drinks and less healthy foods for purchase.2 Students have access to sugary drinks and less healthy foods at school throughout the day from vending machines and school canteens and at fundraising events, school parties, and sporting events" ("A Growing Problem").

Children have the opportunity to get unhealthy food at most of the places they go. Other arguments about the environment of obese children is that there are not enough parks or playgrounds for the children to play, parents find them unsafe both in the location and with the equipment.

"For some families, getting to parks and recreation centers may be difficult, and public transportation may not be available. For many children, safe routes for walking or biking to school or play may not exist. Half of the children in the United States do not have a park, community center, and sidewalk in their neighborhood" ("A Growing Problem").

This also goes with saying that people in low income families may not have the transportation to parks or even to places that have healthy food. The closest store they may have is a gas station that only sells unhealthy processed food. What gas station sells fresh food or has non processed food as an option? Not many. Also produce is much more expensive than processed food as well. This does not make it easy on families that have an extremely tight budget and living on every penny. In schools the cuts of Physical Education is increasing and the school lunches are not getting healthier. The increase in childhood obesity is starting at the environment where kids spend most of the time, school. "One study showed that gym classes offered third-graders just 25 minutes of vigorous activity each week"("Overweight and Obesity"). As a future teacher, the focus should be teaching the children the importance of their health; leading and promoting physical activity. Physical activity is key to help maintaining a healthy weight. Governments are obsessed with academic standards and not focusing on what children are doing to maintain their health like the school lunch programs and the extracurricular activities such as a physical education class.

Continuing on with the environment children are surrounded in, is (Maybe 'Outside of school,') the second place children spend most of their time is their home. "If a parent is overweight and has poor diet and exercise habits, the child is likely to adopt the same habits"(Kaneshiro, Neil K). Also, "Studies have shown that a child's risk of obesity greatly increases if one or more parent is overweight or obese"("Overweight and Obesity"). Meaning that if a parent or guardian is leading by a poor example of not eating healthy and being physically active, the child will view that as okay and act just like them. Like the old saying "monkey see, monkey do," children are consistently looking up to their parents. Parents need to start teaching by example. To an extent, parents control what their child eats, they buy and they make the food they are eating. The parent's lack of nutritional health education is affecting their child's life.

Many people would argue against with what this paper is about. Argue that childhood obesity is all about the genes the child carries, their genetics. While they may play a role, they are not the leading factor. A person can control what they eat and how much physical activity they participate in. A person can control the amount of calories they consume and where the food is coming from. If your family has a history of obesity, don't eat fast food or junk food; work out more and be active!

In conclusion, childhood obesity is on a dramatic incline. The two leading causes are the lifestyle the children are living and the environment they are living in. Children are participating in the go-go-go lifestyle and it is affecting their health because of the fast, easy and accessible unhealthy food. If they are not participating in the fast paced lifestyle than children are being lazy and over eating. The portion sizes have more than doubled in the last twenty years and there is not enough exercise or physical activity happening. The environment children are growing a part of is not helping either. From school to home there are instigators for children to eat bad; school lunches, vending machines, and parental influences.

"A Growing Problem." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.

"Childhood Obesity Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 July 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.

Kaneshiro, Neil K. "Causes and Risks for Obesity - Children: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

"Overweight and Obesity." Kids Health. Ed. Mary L. Gavin. The Nemours Foundation, 01 Oct. 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.

"Serving Sizes and Portions." Eat Right, NHLBI, NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institue, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

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