If there were any proof needed to support the current epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the globe, then it can be found through a recent case reported in China. A four year old boy, who weighs a staggering 136 pounds, has been offered free and potentially life saving treatment by a clinic in Hong Kong, with a view to preventing any long term health issues in his future. Doctors have stepped in after the case was brought to national attention through the media, and have ran an extensive number of tests to determine the existence of any underlying causes for the child’s condition. Despite conducting an investigation that was both labored and considered, doctors have found no medical condition that could have acted as the trigger to the child's obesity. While this is good news in terms of the child's long term potential for recovery, it places the responsibility for his state of being firmly at the door of his parents, who allowed him to gradually eat his way into obesity. Yet there appears to be a reluctance to scrutinize his parents conduct throughout the affair, despite the fact that their behavior has put the health and well being of a young child at risk. The Worldwide Growth of Obesity The issue of obesity is a global one, and it is becoming increasingly prominent in numerous cities worldwide. It is estimated that obesity has risen to as high as 20 percent in some Chinese cities, as well as continuing to increase in other advanced and educated countries such as the US, UK and France. Its rise is worrying in the extreme, and if this trend continues it may well challenge tobacco as the single largest threat to individual health for the next generation.
Unplanned and teenage pregnancy is a rising problem in the contemporary world, and is one of the core issues that lends its burden to the social fabric of the US. The challenge facing the government and educational bodies is how to reverse this trend, and which methodology is the most suitable to encourage a more responsible and considered attitude amongst teenagers towards sexual activity. Not only this, but a healthy balance must also be created to protect the current generation of young mothers within society, and ensure that their own education and future is secured. However, the question is just how far the US government and teaching facilities should go towards assisting teenage mothers, as offering widespread support could serve to vindicate the decision to indulge in unprotected sex in the first instance. An example can be witnessed with Westport TAPP (Teenage Parent Program) School, which is a Georgia based facility that offers special education to teenage mothers, and ensures that their circumstances to not drive them out of education altogether and also helps them to reclaim a sense of normality and everyday function in their lives. Diminishing the Consequences of Unprotected Sex The school itself offers 4 individual components, which serve to create a practical environment for young mothers while also educating them in social theory and conduct. By combining standard curriculum material with a social services component and Co-op child development center, it can diminish the impact that child raising can have on an adolescents burgeoning life, and allow them to continue to strive towards their own ideals of individual attainment. This type of function is considered both necessary and beneficial in contemporary society, and is a specific response to the many issues created by teenage pregnancy.
There is no doubt that creating and nurturing a life is one of the most valuable things that an individual can do with their time, and it is something which continues the essential cycle of life and existence. However, it is also an exceptionally difficult activity, and requires the considered devotion of both time and finance in order to raise a child successfully. With this in mind, it soon becomes increasingly difficult for new parents to maintain their own health and well being while caring for an infant, which can cause serious consequences in their short and long term futures. Interestingly, a recent study conducted by the Paediatrics journal revealed that mothers rather than fathers are baring the physical brunt of child care, although both receive reduced levels of nutrition and exercise when compared to their childless contemporaries. The detailed study, which followed an approximate 1500 high school students into adulthood, revealed that the women who became parents subsequently consumed over 400 calories more per day than childless women of the same age and demographic. A Question of Time The primary issue seems to revolve around time, both in terms of mothers not being able to prepare a health conscious meal and also being unable to exercise accordingly. This creates a distinct imbalance with regards to the volume of calories consumed and the levels of subsequent physical activity, and leads to the individual becoming increasingly vulnerable to various health issues such as obesity. Although it may be argued that this is part of the personal sacrifice required to raise an infant child, it benefits nobody if the mother falls ill or suffers health issues as a consequence.
There is nothing more joyous in this world than creating and raising a life, and it is inevitably one of the more rewarding things that an individual can do within their own existence. However, there are instances where circumstances can make the raising of a child extremely fraught and emotional for all parties involved, and the way in such a situation is handled can have a long standing and potentially divisive effect on an infants upbringing. These circumstances ask many ideological questions about parenting and the morality of raising children, especially in the case where one parent is stricken or absent from the family home. This week, a Californian judge ruled that a mother who had been severely disabled during child birth should be granted visitation rights to her three young children. This ruling was the result of a protracted legal battle between the woman's husband and her parents, with the husband requesting that she be denied visitation rights on the basis that she was unable to communicate or interact with her children, or participate in any decision making processes regarding their upbringing. The husband, who had been granted sole custody of the children during the process, has maintained his view point and feels that any visitation will be detrimental to their development. The Rights of a Responsible Guardian The case has generated much discussion, with the subsequent ruling considered to be precedent setting in situations of this type. Essentially, and judgement has been passed which does it's bests to satisfy all of the parties involved, without losing sight of the emotional and physical needs of the children. This factor, above any other, must be considered as the most significant in any such circumstances, as it is ultimately the welfare of vulnerable infants that must be elevated above those of responsible adults.
Many of the social issues that trouble society are interlinked, and heavily affiliated with everyday interactions. This can create problems in the way that individuals spend their day to day existence, especially where they have a pre-conceived notion of fear that restricts them in their chosen pursuits. This could well be considered as a disruptive and potentially divisive social cycle, and one which can have a negative impact on the overall perception, health and collective abilities of society. Restrictions in Child Health An excellent example of this social cycle can be seen in the level of childhood obesity in the US, which is continuing to rise and become an epidemic throughout the nation. This is something which is affecting many western cultures, especially those which encourage specific freedom of thought and deed, and has many possible causes cited for its increase. However, very rarely is the root cause discussed or identified, and many misconceptions exist that concern the role of parents in this issue. Parents are often criticised for allowing their children expansive access to video games, and not encouraging them to socialize or indulge in additional outdoor pursuits. However, while they are considered as lazy or ill informed guardians, it is possible that their willingness to let their children spend excessive amounts of time indoors is partly due to trepidation. This fear could be attributed to violent crime or instances of child abuse, but regardless of its cause its manifestation can be seen through their conduct towards their children.
There have been varying stories in the media in the formative months of 2011 that have questioned the application of democratic values in the US, and whether various governing and educational bodies are losing sight of the principles that discern a liberal rule. In particular, there appear to be issues concerning individuals who fully utilize their rights to free speech and independence of thought, especially those which infringe on the accepted conventions of society. On the back of the news that a US teacher was temporarily suspended for expressing her opinions on her profession through an online blog, a Michigan high school this week moved to announce a gender neutral prom court for their students this Spring. This is as a reaction to an incident which first took place last fall, where a transgendered student was stripped of the homecoming king title he had been awarded by his peers. Understanding the Restrictions on Liberal Rule The latter set of circumstances have drawn mixed emotions from those involved, and serious criticism for the schools governing principles. Firstly, their decision to deny the student the title he had earned in the first instance was dubious in terms of its democratic merit, and their response to change the entire tradition of prom court structure seems little more than an act of ill considered political correctness to avoid negative press coverage.
Technological advancement is something that has been a feature of western culture over the last two decades, and is considered as a concept that has been largely beneficial to society. However, the processes of change and progression also draw negative reaction and perception from those who are left in its wake, especially where it unfolds at a frenetic pace or its innovations become vulnerable to abuse by the criminally minded factions of society. This week, law enforcement bodies reported that these advances in communications and technological interaction were impeding their ability to conduct wiretaps, in addition to repeating existing concerns over the enhanced nature of internet and computer based crime. In an address to Congress, they suggested that all new telephone, computer and wireless systems should be designed to allow easy and lawful access for police officials and representatives. An Affront to Progress? While the police are decidedly serious in their call to the state, notes of caution have been sounded by industry experts and affiliated parties. It has been suggested that the implementation of design restrictions will only serve to stifle innovation and limit the effectiveness of US based technological companies within the global market. In addition to this, there is a concern that specifically engineered designs would be increasingly vulnerable to the wiles of hackers, criminals and international terrorists.
When discussing the issue of crime, many individuals have their perception influenced by the process of supposition. This means that their opinions are based and conceived upon an assumed understanding, and often not entirely relevant in terms of their factual content. The ultimate consequence of this is that sections of society are misjudged by association, and criminal conduct is subsequently attributed to limited perpetrators and groups. As an example of this, it is a common understanding that poor or poverty stricken geographical areas are more likely to produce criminals and criminal behavior, and this at least has a foundation in fact and statistical relevance. However, this means that crime is often considered to be an affliction of financial hardship or poor standards of living, when it is in fact prevalent in alternative social circumstances through separate forms and actions. The Triggers of Criminality In order to understand this concept, it is crucial to determine the variable types of crime and the motives that trigger them. This is significant because certain types of criminal activity are relevant to specific demographics, and this in itself transcends the illusion that crime is only likely to be committed by certain individuals who are affected by poverty or a financially restricted upbringing. The truth is that particular aspects of criminal activity are more likely to occur in more affluent geographical areas.
The debates concerning reactive contraception and the morning after pill have been ongoing for an entire generation, especially as teenage pregnancy rates have risen in the contemporary world. While access has always been restricted and conditional for individuals under the age of 17, bodies have recently commenced a renewed push to change this legislation, in order to ensure that the medication can sold without age restrictions. This is the latest in a long line of attempts to make the drug available without any conditional legislation, and has support from various affiliated medical and female orientated groups. While they continue to argue that this will reduce the rate of pregnancy amongst young teenagers and negate the risk for the emotionally challenging concept of abortion, there are opposing voices that state concern for personal responsibility and sexual promiscuity. A Simple Resolution to a Complex Issue? While the free and unrestricted access to emergency contraception may well reduce the rates of unplanned teenage pregnancy, it also sets a dangerous precedent for encouraging sexual activity without consequence. As a problem resolution, it is rather ill considered and short sighted, for although it is designed to achieve a particular aspiration it does so without tackling the inherent causes that trigger the issue in the first instance.
Home schooling is one of the more controversial aspects of contemporary education, and encourages diametrically opposed opinions on either side of the debate. Not only is it an often discussed concept, but it is also one that has grown in popularity significantly within the last decade. There are numerous social and cultural issues that acts as triggers for parents to decide to school their children at home, and while some are long standing others are more of a reaction to current social climates. The facts are relatively surprising. An estimated 1.5 million US children are schooled at home by their parents, and this figure has increased by nearly 75 percent within the last 10 years. This significant and persistent growth in home education is particularly interesting, and hints at several parental concerns relating to society and education. Many of these relate specifically to either a child's individual safety or core education principle, and display a worrying lack of faith in government legislation and resource. The Reason Behind Home Schooling Of the 1.5 million home schooled infants throughout the nation, 36 percent of them are subjected to this process through religious and cultural reasoning. While this has been an understandable and persistent feature of the increasing levels of multiculturalism within the US, other statistics or more indicative of burgeoning social concerns. For example, a further 17 percent of home schooled children are taught domestically by their parents because of inherent and pressing issues with the content or quality of contemporary education.
While the World Wide Web has long being accepted as a broad and diverse informational resource, it is now beginning to challenge the conventional concepts of communication and interaction. A key aspect of this is social gaming, which is an expanding feature of networking sites and media outlets, and offers subscribers the chance to experience role playing games while interacting with fellow users. As it continue to grow at a rapid pace, there are issues concerning its consequence as a recreational activity. Facebook are the most prolific source of social network games, with titles such as FarmVille and CityVille extremely popular amongst users. Statistics suggest that out of the estimated 500,000,000 subscribers who utilize facebook as a daily resource, approximately 68 million of them will be playing at least one game a week by the end of 2011. This, in addition to the increasing number of designers who are producing games within the media, is showing a clear trend in where social networking sites are set to direct their efforts in the next 12 months. The Changing Face of Social Networking This trend is a statement of how social media as progressed since its inception, and also mirrors the changing landscape of the internet as a whole. Social networking sites such as Facebook were conceived with largely simple goals, in order to connect people and make it viable to interact through an alternative and cost effective methodology. However, as Facebook in particular has grown to be the most visited and influential website in 2010, its core purpose and aspirations has changed to suit this demand.
It is an accepted and often discussed fact that the internet is changing the way that people interact and communicate. This is generally to be considered a good thing, especially in the way through which individuals can gather and share their opinions upon various online media outlets. Given the improvements it has also offered to commercial interaction, and the way in which marketing and advertising strategies are now conceived and delivered, there are many obvious benefits that are generated by remote communication. However, there is an alternative and rather distasteful aspect to this argument. What the internet also provides is a wide and diverse platform upon which people can be abused, threatened and bullied, a situation that is not assisted by the fact that it also offers n enhanced degree of anonymity and secrecy for the offenders. The trends in this particular behavior are worrying, as there seem to be more and more instances of individuals being victimized through social network sites and remote interaction. The Issue of Remote Hostility With over 80 percent of US adults now active on through internet on a daily basis, it is only natural to presume that the issue of online of abuse will become more prevalent. However, the examples of this seem to be escalating out of proportion to the level of users, which is perhaps more indicative of other social and behavioral trends. There is an inherent need to consider this issue and understand whether the internet is itself a catalyst, or whether it is simply a vehicle which others a driving towards misuse.
As time progresses we are subject to the continual evolution of research, science and technology. This advancement has both advantages and disadvantages affiliated to it, as its processes impact every aspect of contemporary society. With evolution comes change, and modifications to the way in which everyday routines are conducted. This change is itself challenging to an older and less respondent generation, especially given the rapid pace with which it continues to effect and amend daily activity. Aside from the corporeal changes to conduct and routine, there are other and less obvious consequences caused by the technological evolution. Communication and independent thinking are also influenced, especially by the growth of social networking sites and the way in which they encourage interaction between its members. This is potential divisive to inter-generational relationships, with parents finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with and understand the thought processes of their children. Respecting the Knowledge of Contemporary Children The processes of communication and mutual understanding are the foundation of any successful parent and child relationship. Developing this can be difficult enough due to the large generational variance, however the problem is intensified further where the environments in which each generation were raised is so diverse. Basically, this is the most significant issue concerning the pace of progression, as it renders particular generations of society entirely at odds with each other in terms of behavioral and thinking trends.
With an ever increasing amount of online resources that provide information on a range of subjects, the methodology that we adopt to do certain things is a permanent state of transition. Whether undertaking daily functional chores, or performing the significant task of raising children, the Internet age is exposing individuals within society to an expanding choice of conflicting and diverse information. This data often challenges and modifies an individuals approach to their conduct and behaviour, as well as adapting their understanding and perception of life. Raising children is a case in point. By searching the depths of the World Wide Web and its resources, it is possible to source new information that advises parents on a daily basis, creating literature that discusses diverse techniques and theories concerning childcare. This can be in the form of an opinionated blog post or through the published findings of a specific research program, but the frequency with which these articles are printed provides both advantages and disadvantages to the reader. Best Utilizing the Information to make an Informed Decision It is logical to assume that where a surfeit of information exists, a considered approach is required to determine whether it is suitable. The nature of online resource is a wide and largely uncensored one, which means that independent writers and research bodies can publish their findings promptly and freely for the attention of others. This diversity of text will often produce opposing views and conflicted findings, which can be overwhelming to a reader if they do not take the time to understand the information and apply a process of discrimination.
When it comes to educating children in the ways of responsible spending, there are various accepted methods undertaken by parents. The most common of these is the implementation of an allowance awarded for good behaviour and minor household chores, which usually consists of paying an agreed sum for menial labor tasks. This, alongside the payment of cash sums for good academic grades and effort, represents the current understanding of best practice when it comes to teaching children the value of money. Given the absence of a compulsory financial teaching program available through High School, this methodology of education is the most common amongst teenagers throughout the US. Though it is widely accepted that giving children a financial reward for chores is a valuable practice, there are variable statistics and expert opinions that suggest it is in fact a potentially unhealthy and divisive activity. This can be assessed through understanding the actual lessons that this type of financial education teaches impressionable youngsters. The Lessons that US Children are Learning In order to evaluate the relevance of giving a financial reward for labor, it should be compared to the mechanics of the contemporary job market. This is because the education of children is designed to prepare and equip them for adulthood, and the necessities of work and economic awareness that accompany it. By contrasting the core values of the two, it may be possible to modify the way that parents administer their rewards and re-numeration for task.
There is an inherently strong bond between members of a family, forged over time and through shared experiences of hardship and triumph. As a family unit evolves, individuals people grow into established roles, from those with a sense of responsibility to their younger siblings to others who assume the mantle of spoilt and protected children. Even as different characters within a family endure disagreements and periods of hostility, these relationships and the roles that individuals play in them continue to strengthen. However, there are several factors that can influence the well being of a family relationship. Of these, money stands as the single most significant, and conflicts that incorporate finance can often become fiercely contested and hostile. Despite being a solely material entity that has a single purpose as a funding for lifestyle costs, the nature of money has evolved in contemporary society to prove a large contributory factor in disputes and relationship breakdowns. This fact is supported by the increasing number of law suits and civil claims that are cited as involving work colleagues or members of the same family. Money as a Cause of Conflict and Social Issues The virtues or otherwise of money have been debated for centuries. To some, money a significant factor in achieving happiness, and enabling individuals and families to live in comfort and security. To others, it is of negligible value, and something which causes personalities to change and the most genuine of friendships to break down. As a way to support this argument, many will argue that it is money and the search for wealth that prompts the vast majority of crime and criminal activity.
The Role of Video Gaming in Obesity Trends The trends of growing obesity are a concern both globally and within the US, as annual statistics reveal the steady decline in the levels of health and physical fitness across a network of societies. This issue is even more worrying when analyzed across a diverse age demographic, as figures suggest that more and more children and young adults are developing obesity as a serious health condition. This epidemic is expected to become more widespread before it improves, as children in particular continue to consume a poor nutritional diet alongside a reduced level of physical exercise. Dietary elements and subsequent exercise are considered to be the most influential factors in determining a persons general health. These form part of a routine and cycle of behaviour, and the approach that an individual takes towards them is significant in establishing their physical fitness. However, diet and exercise are subject to environment and a persons individual attitudes, meaning that they themselves are vulnerable to numerous contributory triggers. To deal with obesity effectively, appropriate bodies must strive to discover the root cause of unhealthy behavioural trends and find suitable resolutions. Contemporary Social Causes Although diet is often considered to be the most significant influence in a persons general health, this is not supported by popular research and statistics. As an example, the metabolism and structure of the human body dictates that a person could consume 5000 calories in a single day (which is twice the recommended amount for a male), so long as they perform the requisite cardiovascular exercise to convert them to energy and burn them off. This is true with sportsmen who participate in particular disciplines, where a high level of energy is expended on a regular basis.
As long as they have existed, correctional facilities have been discussed in terms of their exact purpose and levels of effectiveness. Such dialogue often concerns the actual purpose that a prison should serve, whether it is to punish a criminal for their conduct or to focus on rehabilitating them to ensure a successful return into society. In an ideal world, a correctional facility would meet both of these requirements, but the truth remains that it is exceptionally difficult to strike a harmonious balance between such diverse aspirations. The secondary issue centers on how effective correctional facilities are in achieving either aim. As contemporary facilities have leant towards rehabilitation and modifying values and behaviour through learning, there has been criticism that this ethos actually creates an environment that is far too comfortable for inmates and convicted felons. Such an atmosphere does little to encourage a criminal to learn or change their conduct, nor does it act as any form of punishment for a particular crime that has been committed. Crime and Punishment Many correctional facilities across the world are designed with different concepts and ideologies in mind. In Eastern European and Asian cultures, such facilities are feared and renowned for appalling conditions and brutality, whereas western prisons are far more developed and built to suit rehabilitation and personal improvement. Each has their own sets of supporters and critics, but it is the western and US correctional facilities that are considered the most effective in a civilized society.
For all the advantages in terms of convenience, speed and delivery that the internet has provided to the average consumer and household, there are increasing concerns as to its influence on social conduct and etiquette. These concerns are centered on the fact that the premise of the World Wide Web has been outweighed by its impact, and despite its supposed benefits to individuals and families alike, it is often citied as a prominent factor in decreasing values and social behavioural trends. The fact remains that while consumers can purchase and internet users can seek information through the vast resources of the internet, there is less and less need to venture into the outside world and communicate with other human beings through traditional conversation. This type of secluded environment in which young adults are thrust can contribute towards a restricted and introverted outlook on life, and in extreme cases develop anti-social behavioural trends amongst users. Internet Usage and Education One of the primary concerns around internet usage is its influence on the education of teenagers and young adults. With regards to the vast resources available on the World Wide Web, there are two schools of thought. One would consider that the diversity of information and opinion is beneficial to further education, and actively encourages the development of a considered point of view. However, there is a further notion that the internet’s depth of resource and often uncensored nature is confusing for impressionable minds and often contradictory to curriculum teaching.
There is often a noticeable dichotomy between public perception and reality, and this ethos is particularly relevant to drug use and drug users. The general understanding of drug use is that it is currently more widespread than ever, and that it is particularly prevalent amongst teenagers and young adults. This theory is developed due to over exposure to sensational media reports and generic journalism, where indistinct statements contrive an unconsidered presentation of actual events. In fact, the level of drug use between the 18 to 25 year old demographic has fallen between 2000 and 2008, with a total decrease of 0.5 percent. This may seem insignificant, but not when you consider the sum of the US population and also the fact the percentage drop for the same period of citizens who have ever used drugs was registered at 2.4 percent. This secondary statistic is far more indicative of a continual and gradual decline in the number of drug users since the turn of the century. A Public Perception So, where does the perception of a worsening drug culture emerge from? Surprisingly, the only increase in the number of drug users is actually in the 26 to 34 year age demographic, where the level of current users has risen from 10.5 to 11 percent between 2000 and 2008. Although this statistic, when considered on its individual merits, may suggest an increase in adult drug use, it not supported by other figures that feature in the same target age range.