End childhood Obesity

Growing up, one of my favorite things about school was lunch. It’s a toss-up between pizza day and chicken ring day as to which day was the best. I’ve never had pizza that tasted like delicious cardboard anywhere other than my elementary school.

I also loved the days when my mom would pack my lunch, filling it with my favorite sandwich, snacks and a different hand-written note every day.

According to the Obesity Society, it is estimated that one in five children in the U.S. is overweight. The rate of overweight children has tripled in the last 30 years, according to their research.

Michelle Obama, former first lady, started the “Let’s Move!” program in February 2010 to promote a healthier lifestyle for Americans, particularly children. I think this was a fantastic move in the right direction, trying to steer people away from a lifetime of possible health issues.

According to the “Let’s Move!” website, nearly 40% of African-American and Hispanic children are overweight or obese. They also stated one-third of children born after 1999 could suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma directly related to their lack of activity and poor diets.

Regardless of background, race or ethnicity, it is important to try your best as a parent to ensure that your child is getting the proper nutrients they need. Watching how many times they snack during the day, what they snack on or how many plates of dinner they eat will significantly help the obesity issue.

Portion sizes have greatly increased, which also plays a factor in obesity in both children and adults. Parents should control the amount of food given to their children, ensuring they receive the proper amount.

I believe technology plays a factor in these issues as well. Throughout the last three decades, technology has advanced, causing children to become lazier. Most children want to play with their technology rather than spending time playing outside. This is just a sign of the times, but also a place where parents could step in and limit the amount of technology time their children have.

While it is okay to have time for children to play with technology, it is so important to have time outside or doing productive activities not only for their physical health, but their mental health as well. If children are spending too much time watching television or playing video games, their creativity levels are bound to drop.

By involving your children in extracurricular activities, sports or making sure they spend time with neighborhood friends, you can increase their activity levels and overall health.

Back to the ideas of schools, the meals served at schools are usually cheap for them to provide which mean they lack the vital nutrients students need. If schools can find a way to increase their food budgets for students or come up with a plan to provide healthier food options for students, they could better the bodies of their students.

If you can’t provide lunch for your child, try to fight for them to have a healthy lunch or snack while they’re at school.

I believe campaigns such as “Let’s Move!” should be taken more seriously. Students need to know how important it is to take care of their bodies from the types of food that go into their bodies to the amount exercise they get each day.