Effects of Childhood Obesity on Adulthood

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In the contemporary world, childhood obesity has been a growing epidemic, especially in the United State. According to a survey conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination over 12.5 million children between the age of 2 to 19 years are obese. A majority of parents have begun to raise concerns regarding the ads and commercials for fast food restaurants claiming that they are the reason for the inclining obesity (Paeratakul, et al. 1338). Although there are a few current campaign ads advocating for children to lead a healthy lifestyle there are hundreds of commercials that are putting the fast food stores in what can be termed as an ultimatum position. To curb the menace the restaurants should either improve their menus or change the advertisements.

In 1979 McDonald's introduced their global renown Happy Meals to the public. The Happy Meal comprised of French fries, soda, hamburger, and the most usual thing in Happy Meals, a toy. To date, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendy’s are still offering children meals accompanying a toy. It is obvious that children do not mind the free gift that comes with a meal, nonetheless, the parents are every day becoming furious that the toy is being used as a lousy ploy making the children unhealthy (Alheritiere, et al. 610). Many of the advertisements utilize current Kid's movies as well as pre-existing toys. The advertisements as well not limited to games and awards that are often attached to the box or the meal's package. The more popular the toy the higher chances are for the children to ask their parents to buy them the meals.

A recent study has indicated that about 15 percent of children between 2- 19 years are obese. This rate has drastically increased by 14 percent from 2015. The epidemic of childhood obesity has caused doctors to identify health issues that are usually hidden until adulthood. The highest probability is that children who are obese are also obese during adulthood. Obesity poses more risks of adulthood health problems while some may even result to death. The immediate effects of obesity on children's health include high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure while the long-term effects include stroke and type 2 diabetes (Baker, et al. 2329)

In the recent past, a number of advocates and parents have expressed their discontent in the advertisements of toys and have taken measures to ensure they no longer have them in the children's meals. This is a good way of reducing obesity in children. For example, Santa Clara in California has begun the initiative to ban toys. In 2010, a vote by county officials was conducted to ban the use of toys issued as gifts in meals that exceed a certain measure of calorie intake. This ban was necessary for making the restaurants adhere to the rule that stated that a toy could only be given if the calorie intake did not exceed 600. Other nutritional values were also to be met at certain standards. It is actually very unfair for parents and restaurants to use toys in capturing the taste of children at their young ages to hook them on feeding some food with high fats and sugars. Apart from the ban on toys the restaurants should also be obliged to improve on the nutrition value of their meals and change their menus.

Works Cited

Alheritiere, A., et al. "Worldwide relation between the number of McDonald's restaurants and the            prevalence of obesity."Journal of internal medicine 274.6 (2013): 610-611.

Baker, Jennifer L., Lina W. Olsen, and Thorkild IA Sørensen. "Childhood body-mass index and        the risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood."New England Journal of medicine357.23           (2007): 2329-2337.

Paeratakul, Sahasporn, et al. "Fast-food consumption among US adults and children: dietary and      nutrient intake profile."Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103.10 (2003): 1332-      1338.

November 24, 2023




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