Essay – Choice: Child Obesity

Child obesity is a growing concern on a global scale. Many believe that it is a government’s responsibility to fight this problem. Others believe that it is the parents’ duty to look after the health of their children.

With whom do you agree? Why?

With fast food chains, like McDonald’s, in almost every city in the Western world, it is easy to understand why child obesity is a mounting problem there. Though it may seem simple to suggest that governments should act to curb this danger, I believe it is up to the parents of overweight children to look after their kids’ health. Governments may help, with education for instance, but parents need to look at themselves and change the habits that may harm their children.

A child’s habits are learned mostly at home by observing what adults do regularly and copying these actions. If parents sit on the couch and watch TV while munching on chips and other snacks, the child will believe that this is normal and will do the same. Thus, parents need to watch their own consumption as a signal to their children. Furthermore, they need to encourage their child to be active, by playing sports or even walking to a friend’s house to play. In so doing, the child will also develop habits that are better suited for a healthy lifestyle later on in life.

The main problem with this is that many adults do not realize the dangers of their own habits. Governments can help by increasing awareness and implementing programs that highlight the unhealthy effects of an inactive lifestyle. For example, they may vote to increase spending on programs that promote health, or on community centers equipped with exercise machines. However, governments should not be called on to force healthy attitudes on people. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to care about their children and act for the good of the entire family.

In summary, child obesity is a problem with a solution: a change of attitude. Governments can act to a degree, but parents are the ones responsible for their own and their children’s health and well-being.