NUTRITION AND HEALTH 4
Inthe modern society, obesity has become a major problem due to thechanging way of life. The current lifestyle does not leave any of theparents with much time to prepare a healthy meal for their children,resulting in unhealthy choices of food (Cassell & Gleaves, 2012).
Recentresearch by Poti, Duffey & Popkin (2014), revealed that, whilefast foods contribute to the growing epidemic of overweight amongchildren, the primary cause of childhood obesity is unhealthy eatinghabits learned from the parents.
Apartfrom unhealthy diet, an inactive lifestyle of the modern children isanother factor leading to obesity. Research has revealed thatchildren spend most of their time indoors, studying, playing videogames and watching TV. Cassell & Gleaves (2012) also argue thatthe modern school environment where there is the availability ofunhealthy foods is also contributing to obesity in children.
Childhoodobesity is linked to various diseases which can become severe andfatal. According to Cassell & Gleaves (2012), obesity exposes achild to the higher risk of developing diabetes type 2. Obesityhinders the process of sugar intake in the body leading to glucoseaccumulation in the blood, leading to a condition referred to asdiabetes type 2. Metabolic syndrome is another health conditionlinked to obesity. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself buta group of conditions that exposes a child to a high risk ofdeveloping diseases such heart complication, diabetes, high bloodpressure among others. According to Cassell & Gleaves (2012),obese children are sometimes stigmatized especially among theadolescents causing a condition referred to as anorexia nervosa.Anorexia nervosa can be described as a mental problem, whichinfluences people to limit their diets severely or even forcethemselves to vomit to manage their body weight. The condition hassevere impacts on the physical, social and psychological health of achild.
Theparents have an important role to play in the solution to the problemof obesity among children because they are responsible for makingrational choices about food and lifestyles(Poti, Duffey & Popkin, 2014).Just as the saying goes, monkey see, monkey do, if parents adopthealthy eating habits and active lifestyles, their children will dothe same. Apart from being role models, parents should ensure theyhave enough time to monitor their children to ensure they consumehealthy foods and involve in physical exercises such as mountainclimbing, swimming among others. Additionally, policies should beimplemented to regulate the media since it plays a crucial role ininfluencing eating habits among children (Cassell& Gleaves, 2012). Lastly but not the least, schools should ensurethat their environments do not affect their pupils` eating habits byrestricting the availability and accessibility of unhealthyfoods.According to Food Growing in Schools Taskforce Report, (2012)another way that schools can achieve health and well-being outcomefor their pupils is by growing food in their institutions. Accordingto the report, the program of growing food in school will encouragethe students and other people involved in taking foods confirmed toprevent obesity.
Fromthe paper, it is clear that obesity has become a major challenge inthe modern society. Many questions have been raised as to whom shouldbe blamed for the increasing incidences of obesity among children. Itis evident that parents are mainly to blame for this problem. Asdiscussed in the paper, bad eating habit in parents results tounhealthy eating routine in their children. The media and environmentare also influencing children`s eating habits. Therefore, to avoidthe undesirable impacts of obesity, there is the need for parents toadopt healthy eating habits and active lifestyles. The media shouldfocus on spreading relevant information on how to stay healthy. Also,the availability and accessibility of unhealthy foods should belimited especially in schools where children spend much of theirtime. Schools should also start a program of growing food in theirinstitutions as well as engage the communities to a large extent withthe aim of increasing awareness not only in school but beyond (FoodGrowing in Schools Taskforce Report,2012).All these programs will help pupils to increase intake of healthyfoods, thus a sustainable future for our society.
Cassell,D. & Gleaves, D. (2012). Theencyclopediaof obesity and eating disorders.New York: Facts on File.
FoodGrowing in Schools Taskforce Report(2012). The Benefit of Food Growing in Schools. Retrieved from:http://www.foodgrowingschools.org/challenge/research/Poti,J. M., Duffey, K. J., & Popkin, B. M. (2014). The association offast food consumption with poor dietary outcomes and obesity amongchildren: is it the fast food or the remainder of the diet? TheAmerican journal of clinical nutrition,99(1),162-171.