by Nora Strumpf, BTC Student
The power of social media should be embraced as a viable option to improve our nation’s childhood obesity epidemic.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic that cannot be ignored. According to the American Psychological Association, “approximately 20% of our youth are now overweight with obesity rates in preschool age children increasing at an alarming speed.” Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that childhood obesity has made significant progress in the United States – however, this has been proven as premature upon a second analysis of the data.
Childhood obesity places youth at risk for having a multitude of health problems as adults, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and forms of cancer. Additionally, childhood obesity leads to poor self-esteem and depression. In recent times, we have seen childhood obesity worsen. Although first lady Michelle Obama has brought this issue to our attention and has shown excitement about progress, a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics has proven that childhood obesity rates have not actually improved (huffingtonpost.com). This issue is certainly not one that our society isn’t aware of; numerous efforts have already been made to try and resolve this problem. Specifically, organizations such as the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) have been dedicated to educating the public about the dangers and prevalence of this issue. Recently, the OAC signed a nutrition agreement with the backing of hundreds of organizations, which sought to ensure that healthier foods would be sold in schools. However, the amendment did not pass.
Curbing the childhood obesity epidemic is a process that requires a multi-sectoral approach. Through the mobilization of nonprofit organizations, private sectors, governments and the civil society, a more comprehensive strategy to resolving this issue can be made. Continue reading