Childhood Obesity: Are You Adding to the Problem?

Jennifer Galvan

by Jennifer Galvan | August 2, 2011 @ 09:00AM

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It is a known fact that America is the fattest country, meaning that obesity has taken over our nation. In a report by NPR News, 72 million Americans were considered overweight or obese in 2010; I can only imagine that number increasing tremendously by the end of this year. This report also states if we continue on this track, more than 50 percent of the country will be obese, not just overweight. Sounds a bit scary.

Personally, I’m not one to count calories or go on trendy diets. However, I do watch what I eat and stay away from fast-food as much as possible. Sure, I get the occasional craving for a cheeseburger or some tacos, but it’s not a part of my daily diet. Contrastingly, I know plenty of people who get their breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a drive-thru! Making matters worse is that they are now getting their children addicted to these meals – not the healthiest way to feed them. Kids are so used to eating out that most of them probably don’t know what broccoli is…it’s not a tiny tree!

The best way to help children learn healthy eating habits is through example, such as if you incorporate fruits, veggies, chicken, and fish in your diet, as well as your children’s. Think of your child’s long-term health and how much they would have to suffer if healthier eating habits aren’t adopted early on in life. It could be the answer to “curing” childhood diabetes. Say no to their whimpering for a burger and shake more often – sometimes tough love can save a life.

It seems now that many big chain fast-food restaurants are also starting to worry about their patrons, well, somewhat. McDonalds recently announced that they will be re-vamping their Happy Meals to make them healthier. An article in the LA Times stated, “The fast food chain will add a serving of fruit or vegetables to all of the meals, which are aimed at children, and shrink the portion of French fries. The new French fry holders in Happy Meals will contain 1.1 ounces of potatoes, down from 2.4. Apple slices will often be included as the healthful side dish, but it could also be carrots, raisins, pineapple slices or mandarin oranges, depending on the time of year and the region in which they're being served.”

While this is definitely a start, what about all those children who already grew up on burgers and fries? Many of them are now experiencing health issues and even undergoing surgery to drop a few pounds. The currently popular “LapBand” procedure is advertised everywhere, which claims to have helped several individuals lose the weight and regain their health. However, those who end up losing an extreme amount of weight also have to deal with the loose, sagging skin after their weight loss.

Enter cosmetic plastic surgery – body lift surgery is an invasive procedure that removes that excess skin from the body. Although it can help men and women achieve a more slender contour, the long scars from the incisions will be there forever. Yes, there are many surgeons who can make scarring as minimally visible as possible, but why get to this point? Wouldn’t it be better if you never had to go through the surgery in the first place? Ponder that while you shop for some organic fruits and veggies.


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