Childhood obesity has become a national epidemic in the United States, but only recently has the issue gotten significant attention. The rate of obese and overweight children in the United States has doubled in the last 20 years and will continue to increase if changes aren’t made to children’s lifestyles.
There are numerous factors that cause childhood obesity and most of the time weight issues are out of the child’s control. Fast food, school lunches, exposure to the media, decreased physical activity, and socioeconomic status are all contributing factors. The mental and physical health effects of childhood obesity can be devastating. Not only is obesity extremely unhealthy, it can lead to other long term problems such as financial problems for families.
Starting with the government, change needs to occur in communities and schools—places where children spend most of their time. If we can stop childhood obesity, our future generations and the entire country will be healthier.