Parents or guardians have the obligation to make healthful choices when it comes to exercise and diet in regards to their children. The enabling of childhood obesity should be considered and treated as child abuse.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the trend of childhood obesity has tripled in the United States since 1980. The reasons behind this growing epidemic are lifestyle choices, such as a high caloric diet and a lack of exercise.
An adult can make the decision to attempt a more healthy lifestyle, but children solely rely on their providers to supply their food and to moderate their daily intake.
First Lady Michelle Obama has been a heavy advocate for providing a healthier lifestyle for the next generation. She began the initiative “Let’s Move,” which is “dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.”
But the change has to begin with the parents, so the initiative focuses on providing families with healthful, affordable food, giving helpful information to parents and guardians and providing healthful food in schools.
The First Lady is not the only person launching initiatives to create a more healthy future for the young generations. Food Network star Rachael Ray has begun a similar non-profit organization called “Yum-o.” Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver also began the “Jamie Oliver Foundation,” which informs people of all ages of the risks an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to.
Excessive body weight in children can lead to early death, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems and joint problems. Children can also suffer from psychological problems from social bullying at school.
If this growing epidemic does not cease, it might even become a national security threat. Military leaders have said that more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight. This will eventually lead to a shortage of people able to fight for the country.
Parents are accountable for their children’s health and should act accordingly.