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Reflective Essay: Obese Children

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Reflective Essay: Obese Children

It's raining over my spring break in Maui, and after three hours of shopping, my friend Leo and I are hungry and we run into a food court. Five restaurants enclose about twenty orange plastic tables and we make our way over to the Chinese take-out counter. As I order the orange chicken, chow mien, and beef and broccoli I notice that our idea is not so uncommon. A couple families are sitting eating some McDonald's along with some other single and double parties strewn around the room. We make our way over to a table near the window, and as we watch the rain poor down we complain about how we are unable to do any outdoor activities. I look to my right and I see this thirteen or fourteen year old boy eating McDonald's by himself. He has a tray full of super-sized French - fries, several hamburgers, and a soda the size of a pint at least. As I look at this boy I can only imagine that his t-shirt covering his five rolls of fat is a 6XL at least, and I find myself in amazement that swim-trunks are made that big. He is overflowing out of his chair, and he doesn't seem to notice the looks that he is getting as he salts his fries and dips them in ketchup. I started to look around for his parents, but they are nowhere to be found. On vacation in Hawaii and some teenager is eating McDonald's by himself.

After a while, I noticed the families eating McDonald's were somewhat over weight as well. It is alarming to me that so many children are becoming obese, and the fact that the parents don't seem to care astounds me. I've tried to come up with several excuses for this new epidemic, and some seem ludicrous while others I believe may have had a large hand in the matter. The explosion of the fast-food industry combined with our busy lifestyles I believe has contributed to this epidemic along with the advancements in technology that have made the average American lazier and lazier. While these I believe contribute to this problem, it is my opinion that the lack of parental influence and involvement that has aided in the epidemic the most

Maybe the problem is that the parents are just as overweight as the children. The American Obesity Association (AOA) reports that overweight children aged 10 to 14, with at least one overweight or obese parent, were reported to have a 79 percent likelihood of overweight persisting into adulthood. Could it be that the American obesity epidemic is becoming genetic? It definitely seems hypocritical to a child when an overweight parent tells him or her to lose some weight or to go exercise. If we look at the cause of childhood obesity to be the fault of the obese parent, then it is necessary to examine why the parents are obese and have passed this trait/lifestyle down to his/her child.

Fast food restaurants have become more and more popular, with more and more of them located throughout the country. Fast food revenue accounts for more than half of all food sales in the United States



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