The percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by almost 20% in the last ten years. Discuss the causes and effects of this disturbing trend.
Over the last ten years, western societies have seen close to a 20% rise in the number of children who are overweight. This essay will discuss some reasons why this has occurred and examine the consequences of this worrying trend.
The main cause of this problem is poor diet. Over the last decade there has been a prolific increase in the number of fast food restaurants. For example, on nearly every high street there is a MacDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. The food in these places has been proven to be very unhealthy, and much of the advertising is targeted at children, thus ensuring that they constitute the bulk of the customers of these establishments. However, it is not only due to eating out, but also the type of diet many children have at home. A lot of food consumed is processed food, especially with regards to ready-made meals which are a quick and easy option for parents who are working hard.
The effects of this have been and will continue to be very serious. Firstly, there has been a large increase in health related diseases amongst children, especially diabetes. This debilitating illness means a child has to be injected with insulin for the rest of their life. Not only this, very overweight children often experience bullying from other children, which may affect their mental health. The negative stigma of being overweight may also affect self-esteem.
To sum up, it is evident that there are several causes of obesity amongst children, and a variety of negative effects. Society must ensure steps are taken to prevent this problem from deteriorating further.