As I look around at young people today, it seems that they are getting bigger and bigger. We constantly hear reports about how rampant childhood obesity has become in this country, and it will only become a more serious problem as time goes on.
The reality of the matter is that childhood obesity has become an epidemic for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the access to fast food is greater than it has ever been before in human history. It seems that on every block, practically, there is some new eatery popping up that serves the most unhealthy food imaginable, and naturally, we all flock to them while we are slowly killing ourselves with what we are putting into our bodies.
Another major factor in childhood obesity is the fact that most kids just don’t go outside and play anymore. This may seem rather simple, but when I was growing up, the way we entertained ourselves was by going outside and playing. We would play outside after we got off of school, on weekends and almost live outside during the summer months. I could not remember a time growing up where I was not outside doing something, and today, it seems like most kids just stay inside and play video games or get online.
Then there is the fact that we really do not educate young people well enough on the dangers associated with eating fast food and junk food. We wonder why childhood obesity is such a problem in this country and now throughout the world, and yet, practically every commercial we see is for something fattening and unhealthy, but that tastes really good. We inundate young people with such advertisements, because they are the ones that will pester their parents to have that for dinner.
Now, I don’t believe that fast food and junk food in and of themselves are strictly the problem. After all, our parents’ generation grew up with the same places to go and eat, and there was not nearly the problem with childhood obesity in their generation that there is with ours. We have to teach children moderation, and that while eating this kind of food is OK from time to time, one certainly does not want to make a steady diet of it.
Childhood obesity will continue to grow in this country until a strong-enough movement starts that promotes healthy eating, exercising and living a life that can be fulfilling and rewarding that does not necessarily have to revolve around food. Biologically, it is only natural, when food is plentiful, to try to horde as much of it as possible, but in the case of our country and our young people, the very thing that gives us sustenance is also taking years off of our lives.