It is the 21st century, and the childhood obesity epidemic has become a significant health challenge worldwide, especially in the US. Over the past few years, obesity and overweight cases are increasing at a very high rate (Archer, 2015). Current studies show that about 20% of school-going children are obese (Broyles et al., 2015). It is also responsible for about 10%-30% deaths, and there is a projection that these cases will increase by 2030 if the necessary measures are not taken in place. These cases are mostly observed in urban areas and among people with high social status in the communities due to their high standard of living and unhealthy lifestyles. Children with this condition are likely to develop immediate, short term, and long term health problems like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, gall bladder disease, and respiratory problems (Ward et al.,2017). This paper aims to identify the main causes of childhood obesity and how the government and stakeholders can help curb the growing pandemic (Ludwig, 2018).
Together with the other departments in the federal government, the US government should play a key role in curbing the spread of obesity (Ward et al., 2017). They can achieve this by developing policies that prevent obesity. Besides, they can also do this by working closely in collaboration with communities, schools, health caregivers, and families. The stakeholders in the government should ensure these policies are implemented effectively. They should focus on community needs and issues that hinder them from living a healthy life. The government and respective shareholders should provide programs where people, especially parents, are educated on health spending and the benefits (Broyles et al.,2015). State government should provide parks, recreational facilities where children will engage in physical activities. They should also create awareness on obesity and the long-term effects. Obesity programs should be included in the school curriculum as this will help the children know about it and know how to prevent it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has played a key role in obesity control and prevention. In June 2008, it conducted a national summit on preparing and controlling the disease (Ludwig, 2018). The Federation communication Commission may also help curb the growing obesity cases by enforcing fairness doctrine, affecting tobacco advertising. The New York City Department of Health and Mental hygiene used the authority vested upon them by the state that restaurants should include the percentage of the calories in their Menu. In 2013 legislators from the US states enacted the 2013 nutrition legislation which aim was to provide nutritious breakfast to school children. To fund this, they got the money from taxpayers and the government (Archer, 2015).
The government's policy providing nutritious food, especially to people with low standards of living, has helped them live a healthy life since they can afford quality and nutritious food. Besides, the government educating people on health spending and the pros and cons of bad eating habits will help people become cautious about their diet. Building parks and recreational facilities by the government in collaboration with the local authorities will help children live a healthy life since they will be engaging themselves in physical activities. Legal requirements on hotels providing calories percentage on their menus should be enforced across all states as this will prevent people from taking excess calories (Ward et al., 2017). The policy on schools prohibiting snack food and beverages in the canteens will help students stick to a healthy diet, reducing the pandemic since the youths are the most affected. Such policies will help students to increase academic performance and promote good health throughout their lives. Building bridges and pathways to schools will help a lot since it will make children walk to school and avoid using vehicles, helping them burn calories. Early care education on children will help the children choose what to eat, and it will help build a foundation for healthy life habits (Ludwig, 2018). The government should provide healthy hospitals because they reach a large number of people and can be used towards sensitizing people on the way to prevent and reduce obesity. The government should also work towards providing a healthy food environment in the communities by sensitizing supermarkets on the importance of having the right nutrition content on their products. (Broyles et al., 2015)
Health policy topic is vital because it sets guidelines and steps to be followed when making important decisions. It is important as it provides clear guidelines followed when faced with health issues as there are legal requirements already set (Ludwig, 2018). For example, high chain hotels make sure they follow the rules set by various authorities to avoid being at loggerheads with them (Archer, 2015). It also helps communicate to employees and all other stakeholders what is expected of them and achieve the policy's main goal. They also set a foundation for providing safe, quality, and health care to people in a country (Ward et al., 2017). A healthy policy helps set targets and goals that are to be achieved for a country's population to live a healthy life. The policies are important since they provide knowledge to people to enhance them to start making healthy life choices.
In conclusion, to reduce the growing rate of childhood obesity, everyone should take it as a responsibility to follow the policies and guidelines set to ensure living a healthy life. Good eating habits, living an active life that involves doing daily exercises, and taking walks, Avoiding food with high calories, and eating a well-balanced diet will contribute to a healthy population. The government should also make efforts and ensure the policies are implemented. As a result, this will reduce the diseases and death rates associated with living an unhealthy lifestyle.
Archer, E. (2015, January). The childhood obesity epidemic as a result of nongenetic evolution: the maternal resources hypothesis. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 90, No. 1, pp. 77-92). Elsevier. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002561961400740X
Broyles, S. T., Denstel, K. D., Church, T. S., Chaput, J. P., Fogelholm, M., Hu, G., ... & Maia, J. (2015). The epidemiological transition and the global childhood obesity epidemic. International Journal of Obesity Supplements, 5(2), S3-S8. https://www.nature.com/articles/ijosup201512
Ludwig, D. S. (2018). Epidemic childhood obesity: Not yet the end of the beginning. Pediatrics, 141(3). https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/141/3/e20174078.abstract
Ward, Z. J., Long, M. W., Resch, S. C., Giles, C. M., Cradock, A. L., & Gortmaker, S. L. (2017). Simulation of growth trajectories of childhood obesity into adulthood. N Engl J Med, 377, 2145-2153. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1703860
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