When it comes time for fingers to be pointed, who do we as a society blame for child obesity? Is it in a child’s genetics? Do parents need to do a better job at keeping their child healthy? Does technology need to be limited whilst outdoor activity time extends? Well, answer this. Nowadays, when a child cries what does a parent hand them to make them stop? Nowadays, if you go to a park how many children do you see there playing and being active? Not many, right? The amount of children who are sitting at home playing on iPads is unrealistic. This generation has created a stampede of children who are technologically, but not physically advanced. Not only this but, we have created parents that don’t care enough about their kids health because it saves them time and allows them to do more for themselves than for their kids.

            $4.39. Four dollars and thirty nine cents. The price you pay to fill your child’s body with an artificial burger made of pure fatty acids, a “healthy snack” of your choice, some fries, and a soft (but really hard on you) drink, or maybe some sugar consumed milk (your choice). According to an article by Jenny Hope of the Daily Mail UK, “One child in ten is overweight or obese…Already some are developing illnesses seen in overweight adults”, absolutely tragic…isn’t it? A parent may see this as a cost effective, healthy alternative, and time efficient way to keep their kid satisfied. Sadly, it’s not. Although McDonalds portrays a kid’s meal as, “540 calories, 15g of fat, and 12g of protein”, they don’t portray the amount of chemicals going into the food and the amount of damage it will cause to your body in the near and upcoming future. Fun fact: McDonalds recently released a new line of chicken nuggets! “Now made with real chicken”, but wait…what did they use before? School lunches also play a role in child obesity believe it or not. Your local elementary probably serves what they call, “a nutritious breakfast and lunch”, they also most likely claim that it is healthy. Do you trust that though? A school of hundreds sometimes even thousands of kids, has to be fed. Five times a week, two times a day, sometimes they even offer brunch, which could mean worse as well. So think about it. Do you really trust a school that sees your kid as just another mouth to feed? Some wouldn’t, but that’s up to you to decide. However, there are many complicated, super stressful, time crunching ways to solve this problem. Here are some of them: spending a terrifying 5 minutes packing your child a healthy lunch, spending a treacherous extra few dollars on healthy groceries, and worst of all, making sure they don’t eat unnecessary amounts of junk food. Boy that sure sounds tough. So next time you’re thinking of the $4.39 you’re going to spend on a happy meal, ask yourself if it’s worth your child’s health.

            Technology: The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industries (noun). Technology is a beautiful thing. It is the chair that you sit on, it is the clothes you’re wearing, it is the shoes on your feet, it is everything and anything that has advanced to benefit or adapt to its surrounding to assure acceleration in productivity. Technology is literally what you’re reading this on. For the greater good of mankind technology has been nothing but beneficiary to the human race, but recently that has started to change. Technology has started to consume our lives…it has taken over completely. For some this has created jobs, but for others it has taken them. Technology has enslaved human kind and it has hit our youth the hardest. Being born into technological advancements that excelled us as people changed everything. We no longer played outside, we played Gameboy. We no longer talked to each other, we sent emails. We no longer traveled, we Googled. We no longer enjoyed the outdoors, we stood inside. These were effects and actions that occurred around the 2000s. But ever since computers and any tech device became an absolute necessity, the youth has changed drastically along with it. You don’t see kids running around riding bikes anymore, you see kids taking pictures, playing mobile games, and completely ignoring their surroundings because they are stuck on their phones. Not only does this effect a child’s health but it puts them behind scholastically. Technology can be used for learning but if a child is using it just to watch videos and play games they won’t focus on their school work or learning at all because all they’ll think about is things that truly don’t matter. Their health will be jeopardized greatly because if they’re not outside running around like most healthy kids are then that means they are indoors on their technological devices. Which to some would be good because they are going to be smart and experienced for future tech jobs, but they will barely be able to make it to that stage in their life at the rate they’ll be going at health wise. This brings up the topic of lack of exercise. An average child is supposed to spend about 30-60 minutes outside says the National Wildlife Federation Blog. Regarding that, even if the allotted amount of time is spent in crunches and not all at once it would still manage to help children who have ADHD and other certain disorders that pertain their living situations and change them in any way. That being one of many of the benefits… the children would also be encountered with physical activity and it would help them remain a healthy lifestyle. Leaving them no choice but to have fun outside and be healthy. Back to the topic of technology, there are many ways that parents can limit these sorts of things. As all, all things can be prevented. If a parent wanted to they could put parental locks on most devices that force the device to shut off after a certain amount of usage or time of the day/night. The child would physically and mentally be trained to know that the device will be shut off at a certain time which is good because that only means more time to do more physical activity. But this also isn’t only the kids fault… after all, who bought them that device in the first place? Parents can take more control in a child’s life and they can just directly tell their kids to get off their tech and go play outside, but that also takes some work from the parent as well because you can’t expect change without any action. Meaning, maybe parents shouldn’t set bad examples for their children and be on their phones all day too, they should get out with their kids and show them how fun an active life can actually be.

            As a family, eating habits and even physical habits matter more than you know. IF as a family you grow, pick, and prepare your own foods, then you’re most likely healthy and well aware of the abnormalities caused by eating out. With that being said, if as a family you go out and eat fast food together, then congrats…you’re slowly but surely killing your family but at least it’s together! And it doesn’t even matter because instead of going out to get some healthy groceries, you saved so much time by not having to shop, or cook by just driving to a place and spending hard earned money on under-cared for food. Although, there are some healthy alternatives to entrees that will leave you in awe… most of them are a little, what we see as, “overpriced”. In fact, in a survey taken by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of health states that we as a race continue to eat fast food because, shocker, it’s food. Second, because it’s fast and it is prepared within minutes after you order it. Third, and last but not least, the fast “food” industry produces so much food that costs pennies to make and on average they sell most food for circa .68 cents to $2.49, which is sad considering the mass murder and produce that these companies are partaking in. Now most people read that price and say that it seems a bit falsified. But for every $7 burger bought at a restaurant, there are 10 burgers being bought from tiny (but huge) fast “food restaurants”. Not only by single customers as well, just as fast as the animals are killed for these burgers, families are consuming them in mass quantities. The average size of a family in America is pretty steady. So if you think about the amount of people in a family and how many of them are going out to eat as habit and lifestyle choice, the numbers are disgustingly huge. Not to mention cruel. By statistics being, nobody can get an exact amount of fast food that is consumed by families in whole, for this number is too large. According to McDonald’s billboards across the world, McDonalds has served billions of customers. In every country there is a McDonalds and they reign the world. Keeping families around the world unhealthy.  The only plausible solution to this problem is that families go buy groceries that lead a healthy lifestyle, or perhaps grow their own garden and lead an innovative and nutritious lifestyle. This would allow families to achieve wonderful time together and help children gain a healthy experience to spread throughout generations.

            In conclusion, child obesity is caused by a variety of things. Not only are these things our failures that we have given to our younger children, but they are things that are more than difficult to change, when we started this “advancement” into the future, this was something we were not aware was capable of happening. They are things that we started and may not be able to finish. In all reality, we’re so far past the point of no return we aren’t even sure if we can see where we started. Technology is the weakest yet somehow strongest of reasons as to why children are obese nowadays. Being glued to their tech is something that is inevitable, but as parents and mentors, we have the power to limit it. The solution to technology is simple. Since it is a dire necessity we do not need to cut it out of our life completely, but we do need to shorten our time of unnecessary usage down to a bare minimum. This would allow children to be more active and enhance their physical ability. Equally if not more hurtful, fast food industries offer quick, inexpensive ways for people to get full and satisfied with what they think is a cost effective meal. But this cost effective meal, costs more than a few dollars. It may cost you your life. In most cases these fast food restaurants provide crazy amounts of food and it is absolutely sickening. The solution to this, is fairly harder than it is with technology. We must not give in to the cheap and tasty fast food that is being shoved into our faces daily. We must grow our own food or support those who do so we can share a healthy lifestyle that is indubitably more kind to our bodies. Tagging along with that matter, our eating habits as families and individuals must better. As mentioned in the previous solution, if someone is to grow their own food they most likely are aware of the harm in fast food, and they are willing to accept others who would like to change the course of their health and habitual status with open arms. Habits may be very hard to break, but if swayed with the correct information and willpower to do it. People can change. Families can change. The world can change. We can change.

Works Cited

Bittman, Mark. “Opinion | The True Cost of a Burger.” The New York Times, The New York       Times, 15 July 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/opinion/the-true-cost-of-a-burger.html?_r=0. Accessed 7 May 2017.

Bryan, Derek. “Reasons People Eat Junk Food Instead of Healthy Food.”LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 26 Feb. 2011, http://www.livestrong.com/article/392358-reasons-why-people-eat-junk-food-over-healthy-food/. Accessed 7 May 2017.

“Fast Food Survey: Most Customers Choose Fast Food for Convenience.” AYTM, aytm.com/blog/daily-survey-results/fast-food-survey-2/. Accessed 7 May 2017.

“Home.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html. Accessed 7 May 2017.

“How Much Outdoor Play Time Does Your Child Need? What the Experts Say.” The National Wildlife Federation Blog, blog.nwf.org/2010/11/how-much-outdoor-play-time-does-your-child-need-what-the-experts-say/. Accessed 7 May 2017.

Rydell, S A, et al. “Why Eat at Fast-Food Restaurants: Reported Reasons among Frequent Consumers.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2008, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027410. Accessed 7 May 2017.

“TmplFields.popuptitle.” McDonald’s Nutrition Calculator | McDonald’s, http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/about-our-food/nutrition-calculator.html. Accessed 7 May 2017.