Childhood obesity a growing issue
As President Barack Obama deals with problems such as health care overhaul, creating jobs and ending a war, first lady Michelle Obama is doing her part to help solve an issue that has affected Americans for some time: childhood obesity.
Although childhood obesity is not a new problem for Americans, not much has been done to resolve it.
Blame for the issue has been placed on everything and everyone, beginning with parents. Easy access to junk food and the convenience of fast food are components that have contributed to obesity not only in children, but also adults.
In a Jan. 20 article in USA Today, Nanci Hellmich wrote that Obesity Society President Donna Ryan said dealing with obesity at an early age is better because it becomes much harder to lose weight and change habits as an adult. This is why the obesity issue has attracted the entire nation’s attention.
Although Obama has shown concern for younger generations, many people believe she is placing too much emphasis on the importance of looks and being thin. This could lead to greater problems, such as eating disorders among children.
In an interview with Don Lemon of CNN, Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth, argued that Obama was “stigmatizing the body of one-third of America’s kids,” using junk science to label kids’ bodies as fat, which will only lead to a “wave of eating disorders.”
Whether Campos is right, the fact still remains that childhood obesity is a growing concern.
Obama is doing her part by bringing this topic to light — an issue that will bring controversy to whoever deals with it.
The word “diet” can be taboo in our society, as everyone has a different definition of what a diet consists of. The solution, according to Obama, is to exercise more while implementing a more-balanced diet.
Obama mentioned in the USA Today article that she had to put her 8-year-old daughter Sasha on a diet, but also stated that she was working full-time. Due to a lack of time, Obama relied on fast food on many occasions.
Americans cannot be close-minded when it comes to dealing with sensitive issues regarding the nation’s youth. Obama is not calling children fat, but some are interpreting it that way.
All Obama wants is for parents to consider healthier alternatives to their children’s lifestyles.
That’s not too much to ask for.
Karen Ramirez is a psychology junior and may be reached at [email protected]