The matter of childhood obesity and poor nutrition are some of the catastrophic issues that bedevil the American society today and who should take the responsibility in eradicating it has been the subject of debate since governments, parents, schools and the media carry substantial blame.
Statistics in America indicate that the cases of children suffering obesity have spiraled and for the last thirty years, the cases of obesity have increased by fifteen percent (Child Obesity, n.d.). Many reasons have been put forward to justify why obesity cases are on the rise: Doctors associate obesity cases with the fact that children are not consuming the exact type of foods required as a balanced diet and secondly, the American children are getting exposed to less physical exercises everyday.
It is argued that eliminating the cases of obesity in America will be hard unless parents are willing to accept the responsibility to inform their children about healthy lifestyles. There has been a strong debate about the party that should be held responsible for these rising cases of obesity.
There are those who argue that it is the responsibility of the government to eliminate it while others argue that it is the responsibility of the parent and the family at large to eradicate it though it is conventional that a child is charged with the responsibility to manage his/her body. It has been turned into a blame game where the parents blame the government and on the other hand the government blames the parents.
Educating children about good and healthy eating decisions can assist in reducing cases of obesity among them. This can be achieved through the institution and formulation of laws by the government. The rising cases of obesity is slowly getting out of hand, whereas many believe that the government is to save the country from obesity; the available government policy is not well formulated to solve the problem hence the need for parents to encourage their children to adopt better and healthy eating habits.
To encourage healthy lifestyle and good eating habits, the government should raise the health care charges for people who are obese. Although this policy can be argued to be bad, it will motivate those who are obese to adopt health lifestyles while rewarding those who practice good healthy habits.
Consequently, despite the fact that such a policy will increase the costs of health care, it will end up promoting healthy eating and encourage body exercise habits but this also depends on the examples set by the parents in their homes (Murtagh, 2011).
Those who argue that it is the responsibility of the parents to control children obesity put forward such points as the need of the parents to teach their children about good healthy habits and inculcating them to programs like weight watchers and girls on-the run which are vital in promoting healthy lifestyles.
Parents also need to teach healthy routines in their homes and they should inform their children the benefits of body exercises and also well rounded diet, which can as well be passed from one generation to another. It is argued that children who live with parents who promote healthy lifestyle will likely promote healthy lifestyle and good eating habits when they grow up.
Parents also argue that it is a mistake by the government since they are in position and they have the power to introduce some bans and also restrictions on the availability of fast foods and also to some extend prohibit some adverts that may be seen to be promoting unhealthy foods and eating lifestyles. Though these measures cannot completely curb the cases of obesity, they will greatly reduce obesity cases.
Although the government and those who advocate for the curbing of childhood obesity agree that the government should be responsible in eradicating it, they disagree with the government’s argument that parents should teach their children good eating habits and instead, to them, it is the teacher who should be the one to teach the children about the dangers of childhood obesity.
Parents also argue that the government should instead operate some classes that offer lessons on obesity to the children. It is argued by the proponents that the parents will not mind paying for the classes since it is in their interest to eliminate childhood obesity (Public Health, 2011).
Since the elimination of childhood obesity cases rests with two main measures: first, the promotion of physical exercises and two, the promotion of good and health eating habits, the debate on who should take the task of eradicating it should not be a matter of concern since it will not in any way solve the problem at hand. It only requires good will and taking of action collectively by all the stakeholders.
Government has taken the responsibility to prevent obesity. This has been prompted by the fact that the prevalence of obesity increases the chances of people contracting other lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and also cancer.
There is a need for a collective action if childhood obesity is to be defeated; parents need to teach their children better eating styles and above that they should actually act as their children’s role models on matters of better eating habits. The government should also enact necessary laws to govern the sale of fast foods to children.
Child Obesity. (n.d.). Child obesity in America: taking care of our children. Help Cure Child Obesity. Retrieved on 16/08/2011 from: http://www.helpcurechildobesity.com/
Murtagh, L. (2011). State Intervention in Life-Threatening Childhood Obesity. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 306(2), 206-207.
Public Health. (2011). News Release. Department of Public Health. Retrieved on 16/08/2011 from: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/02/20110207a.html