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The Challenge of Childhood Obesity

The continued growth of the Internet has created a vast and diverse resource for information, which allows individuals to educate themselves on a variety of different topics. This, in theory, harvests a more knowledgeable and independent society, whose citizens are able to take control of their own lives and adopt responsibility for their actions. Subsequently, social and behavioural issues should be challenged to the degree where they can be controlled and regulated by the individual members of a community, allowing governments to concentrate on .

However, this logic is not supported by fact and statistical data. Despite intensive work by research bodies and the swathes of media outlets that report their findings, several social issues continue to be pertinent in contemporary society. Obesity, violence and anti social behavioral trends are especially prevalent, and affect both children and adults in equal measure, which serves to question whether individuals are doing enough to understand this  information and improve themselves accordingly.

An Inadequate Response to Child Obesity

Child obesity and fitness are issues that have worsened in the US for over a decade. The steady but significant rise in youngsters and teenagers who are unhealthily overweight is perplexing, especially when considering the accepted knowledge surrounding exercise and nutrition that is accessible on hundreds of web pages and television channels.  It suggests that individuals are either applying a loose and misguided interpretation to what they read, or simply disregarding it entirely.

For example, an estimated 44 million children throughout the US participate in organized sports, whether in school or associated youth clubs. Despite this, poor regulation and ill discipline renders much of this exercise inadequate, and leaves individuals far short of attaining their goal of 60 minutes physical output a day. Research actually suggests that children will spend anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes of their work out period idle and indolent, completely negating the remainder of the time spent active.

This is an unfortunately typical reaction to issues of health and fitness, where educational bodies take a government recommendation and apply it without any further thought or consideration. In this instance, children are encourage to partake an hours exercise a day through many different activities, but this time is not monitored and neither is each individual children’s levels of performance. In retrospect, it would appear to be nothing more than a base interpretation of government soundbite, which has resulted in an inconsequential level of exercise afforded to young US citizens.

Understanding and Developing Perceived Wisdom

The issue lies with parents and teaching bodies, who must realise that it is simply not enough to adopt a concept at face value without understanding and further developing its principles. Information exists as a broad guide to a given topic, and any research program is controlled and makes no allowance for external environments and individual personality. Therefore, any perceived wisdom concerning obesity and fitness needs to be adapted suitably to each unique circumstance and personal character features.

If educational bodies adhere to the principle of children receiving a minimum of 60 minutes exercise in a single day, then they must implement this rigidly and monitor its effects accordingly. Children who are asked to undertake an activity should have their efforts regulated, in order to determine that they are receiving the full benefits form their exertion. Pedometers are small and mobile devices that monitor the number of steps taken while they are worn, and are an excellent way of representing a users effort and the amount of physical activity they are being exposed to during the workout period.

Of course, this type of regulatory action is not only required at school. Parents have a duty to regulate their child’s activity within the home, and pay considered attention to their nutritional needs and the many ways in which they spend their time. It is not necessarily an easy task given the steep rise in games consoles and television channels that are accessible in the modern USA, but by implementing restriction on the usage of computer games and time spent idle they can take huge steps to protecting their child from obesity and potential health issues.

A Combined Effort to Tackle Child Obesity

It is all a question of responsibility, which is an accepted feature of parenthood and teaching but not necessarily one that is guaranteed. Parents must accept responsibility for their child’s well being and levels of fitness, and create a schedule that best incorporates work, study, leisure and family time which balances physical exertion with relaxation. Where parents are concerned, leading by example is critical as children are most susceptible to what they see and hear from the primary adult influences in their lives.

There is nothing wrong with parents and teachers communicating to develop a rapport and understanding, through which they can conceive an overall strategy to keep their children fit and healthy. It is this ideal of adults leading the way with discourse and physical example that will best challenge the threat of childhood obesity, especially when it based on accepted knowledge of the issue and an understanding of its most relevant causes.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

7 thoughts on “<span>The Challenge of Childhood Obesity</span>”

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